June 18, 2018, by Liz Goodwin
Thinking Room exhibition at Nottingham Lakeside Arts wins a World Illustration Award
Carol Adlam, artist-in-residence at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, has won the World Illustration Awards 2018 in the Research Professional Category for the exhibition Thinking Room.
Thinking Room, completed during Carol’s residency from 2016-2017 — which was supported by Arts Council England Resilience Funding — places artefacts from the University of Nottingham Museum into an alternative vision of the people, animals, places and narratives of Lakeside Arts from pre-history to the present day.
Carol, who is a graduate of the Cambridge School of Art, researched the museum’s deep and rich connections with the region and the University, as well as the history of specific artefacts.
The outcome was an exhibition of 10 outsize paintings in graphic novel form and around 30 reference paintings which were made into a 36-page book. The project was an experiment in using the graphic novel format as a sophisticated medium for communicating in-depth information.
Carol’s ink, watercolour and gouache paintings were displayed at the Angear Visitors Centre from November 2017 to February 2018. The artist and writer is particularly interested in the long-standing connections between drawing and heritage work, and Thinking Room explores the crossovers between illustration, fine art, and storytelling.
On winning the prize for the Research Professional Category at an awards evening held at Somerset House on 7 June, Carol said:
“I was delighted and honoured to win such a prestigious award. I’ve been working as a full-time illustrator for four years after a career change — so I could never have dreamt of receiving such an award, even just a few years ago.
“I’m also very pleased that the award was given for my exhibition and book about the Museum of Archaeology collections, as one of the aims of my residency was to bring the museum to more people’s attention. I hope that this work has done this and that the museum goes from strength to strength.”
Commissioned by Dr Clare Pickersgill at the Museum of Archaeology at Nottingham Lakeside Arts, the brief for Thinking Room was to execute work on any aspect of the museum.
Dr Pickersgill said: “I am so happy that Carol has won this very prestigious award. Carol was the Museums first Resident Artist and her incredible work highlights how collaboration between museums and artists can produce unique and interesting work that also supports wide and extended access to collections. And it was great fun too!”
Now in its 42nd year, the annual competition, which is the most prestigious global illustration awards, showcases up-and-coming and established illustrators from around the world, as well as highlighting the latest developments in the discipline.
Organised by the Association of Illustrators (AOI) — which was established in 1973 to advance and protect illustrator’s rights and encourage professional standards — and in partnership with the Directory of Illustration, this year’s 200-strong shortlist was drawn from a record of 3,300 entries from 75 countries, over 1,000 more than in 2017.
The exhibition then tours the UK and internationally, and is seen by over 50,000 visitors over the course of the year.