The Penguin Random House award is designed to give students a chance to create work simulating a live brief. Each year, students are given a choice of three categories to create cover designs in response to, Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Children’s Literature. In the 2015 awards, Camberwell MA Illustration student Georgie McAusland was awarded third prize for her creative response to Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeannette Winterson.
The award offers students a unique insight into the design industry and the experience of working to a client’s brief. Once entries have been shortlisted by the judges, Art Directors provide shortlisted entrants with feedback and direction on their submissions. Entrants are then invited to resubmit their work, taking on board comments, before the final round of judging.
Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is a coming-of-age story about a young girl, Jeanette, who grows up in an English Pentecostal community. Jeanette’s strong will sees her rebel against her strict upbringing. Key themes of the book include transition into adulthood, family relationships, same sex relationships and religion. Georgie’s design includes a wide variety of these themes and signifiers from within the text. Her painterly illustration depicts the character of Jeanette on the front holding a girl, as the book cover spreads to the back Jeanette’s body forms the image of a hill, a place where often seeks solace in the book. The devil which she sees when she hallucinates sits on her shoulder, the cross on her necklace forms one of the ‘T’s in the author’s name and both figures lay on a tablecloth which depicts holy scenes.
Georgie’s work has evolved and changed during her time studying on the MA Illustration course here at Camberwell. She often considers different methods of working, taking full advantage of the workshops on offer to explore new forms of image making. Her working methods are diverse and include both printmaking and ceramics. By exploring three dimensional craft methods she has been able to lift her illustrations from the page, giving them new purpose and context as tangible objects.
Speaking about the award, Georgie commented:
“It felt amazing to come third in the Adult Fiction Cover Award category. I was so shocked to have even been shortlisted after thinking, planning and working so hard on my design. I chose Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit as the subject matter really appealed to me. The design I submitted was full of meaning, trying to include as many ideas and themes from the book as possible.”
Award judge Suzanne Dean, Art Director for Vintage commended Georgie’s design:
“This illustrator is very talented. Her roughs allowed us to see her thought processes and some of the drawings were exceptional. The narrative of the story was relayed in the cover design, and it was obvious that a great deal of thought had gone into this illustration.”
Georgie is currently focusing on the project she we will be displaying at the Postgraduate Summer Show this year. Her project will be an interactive piece where viewers are invited to hammer nails onto one piece and play with others. She plans to create a cabinet of curiosities based around women’s relationship with superstition, ritual and luck in an effort to affect the course of life. The installation will include books, prints, ceramics, wooden pieces and a pair of embroidered pants.
The Postgraduate Summer Show will be taking place at Camberwell between the 14 – 20 July 2016.