Entry to the 2012 Folio Society/House of Illustration Book Illustration Competition has closed and the shortlist finalised. Six talented artists are in the running for the prestigious prize: the commission to illustrate the forthcoming Folio edition of The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, Angela Carter's collection of dazzlingly macabre fairy tales. In keeping with the competition's aim to promote up-and-coming artists, three of the shortlisted entrants are students: Sam Kerwin, Ceryn McCarthy and Sidsel Sørensen.
Carter's stories are filled with rich, sensuous, visceral images, many of them imbued with violence and danger, others intoxicating in their conjuring of unearthly magical scenes and beings which straddle the line between human and beast. Sensory descriptions are abundant - colours, textures and smells - presenting both a challenge and an opportunity to the imagination of the illustrator. Alongside technical excellence, the six shortlisted artists were chosen for their ability to bring an original interpretation to these inimitable tales, guided by a perceptive reading of their themes.
The judges include Matthew Richardson, the winner of last year's inaugural competition, folklore expert Marina Warner and Flora Craig, Project Director at the House of Illustration. Also on the judging panel are The Folio Society's Art Director Sheri Gee, Publisher Catherine Taylor and Production Director Joe Whitlock Blundell. Our edition of The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories is now in production, due for publication in August. The winner, however, is a closely guarded secret, to be announced at the award ceremony on 3 July. Until then, you can view the work of all six finalists here.