World Illustration Awards honour

June 13, 2016

 

The World Illustration Awards has honoured me with a place on the shortlist in the 2016 competition.

 

The work they chose was my papercut artwork, Sea Sick, which was previously selected for display at the Royal Scottish Academy of Art.

 

I wanted to draw people's attention to the plight of the refugees drowning in the Med in a way that was removed from all political discourse, and Sea Sick shows human beings trapped in a whirlpool of barbed wire.

 

When even more refugees were allowed to drown in summer 2015, I started doing a papercut, while governments argued over whose responsibility they were.

 

I felt it was key that I showed them as brown-skinned people. If they'd been white and on a cruise ship, there would have been no political argument – they would just have been rescued.

 

The piece shows these doomed souls trapped not just in the water but in barbed wire that represents government hostility. As a papercutting artist, I felt that the medium’s fragility particularly suited the subject, as paper is destroyed by water, much as these people were.

 

If nothing else, I hope that the press coverage of my shortlisting, below, raises awareness of the fact that refugees are STILL drowning in the Med, with 880 drowning in the week of my nomination.

 

Although I created this work in summer 2015, it is unfortunately still relevant - 2500 refugees have drowned this year.

 

I can’t wait until this artwork is out of date and merely an historical reference.

 

 

 

 

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