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South Yorkshire Artist, Will Rea, who works creatively under the name Willustration, has been shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards (WIA) 2021, Site Specific category, for his project Workings of Sheffield, a large-scale mural painted at Orchard Square, in Sheffield.

The WIA are presented by the Association of Illustrators (AOI), in partnership with the Directory of Illustration.

Two hundred projects have been shortlisted by the judges for the WIA 2021, presenting some of the most striking illustration work from around the world, selected by the judges from over 5,280 entries across 82 countries.

Ren Renwick, CEO, of the AOI comments: “The World Illustration Awards offer a brilliant platform to discover exciting new illustrators. The shortlist brings diverse talent from across the world together in one place. Illustrators at every career stage, from emerging to established are represented.

“The shortlist is a fantastic place to find global talent and in the face of recent challenges, now more than ever, it’s so important for the industry to connect illustrators with new clients and commissions.”

Orchard Square in Sheffield opened in 1987 on the former site of John Brown and Co. Steel Works. Since purchasing Orchard Square in 1999 London and Associated Properties (LAP) have redeveloped the site to now include retail, food & beverage, office and working space. In 2019 LAP commissioned the largescale piece of public art for the external wall overlooking the courtyard at Orchard Square, asking local artists to create submissions to the brief of ‘what Sheffield means to them’.

There was a huge response with Will Rea chosen for his piece ‘Workings of Sheffield’. The project was completed shortly before Lockdown 1 with the 50-foot wall of colour and design fully revealed to the Sheffield community in the summer of 2020 providing.

Nicola Blake from LAP, comments: “We are absolutely delighted that Will has been shortlisted for this prestigious award, recognising his talent that we are so proud to have on display at Orchard Square for our visitors to admire and enjoy.”

The shortlisted 200 projects are included in an exciting, dynamic Online Showcase curated by the AOI’s Awards Team, with contributions from partners and judges. Featuring interviews, work in context, showreels and sketches, the showcase is a celebration of great illustration and the stories behind the illustrations.

A printed catalogue featuring all 200 projects is circulated to commissioners world-wide to further promote shortlisted entrants. This is also available for sale through the AOI.

All shortlisted projects are in contention to win, and on 12 October 2021, the Category Winning and Highly Commended projects in each category will be announced online in a live broadcast event. Two Overall Winners will receive cash prizes.

An online Celebration Programme of events and masterclasses will run throughout October and November, highlighting areas of current importance, including alternative routes into illustration, and exploring the importance of increasing diversity within the industry.

The World Illustration Awards is a year-long celebration and showcase of illustration, bringing together creatives, industry, commissioners and art directors, celebrating great illustration on a scale like never before.