NI illustrator who drew inspiration from Titanic on the award shortlist

A Belfast-born illustrator is enjoying great success with her first children’s book, ‘Rescuing Titanic’.

lora Delargy was one of six nominees for the prestigious Klaus Flugge award on Wednesday night.

The shortlist was announced at Waterstones in Piccadilly, London.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Delargy said: “It is a great honor for any illustrator to have their work recognized in this way. I’ve been following the Klaus Flugge Award for the past few years and I’m so thrilled to have made the shortlist this year.

Award spokesman Klaus Flugge said: “The judges admired her use of color and light and the way she filled in the various scenes of life and movement, capturing all the drama of the events.”

The Klaus Flugge Prize was established in 2016 to honor Klaus Flugge, the founder of Andersen Press and an influential figure in children’s picture books.

The award is given to the most promising and exciting newcomer to the field of children’s picture book illustration and is judged by a panel of illustrators, children’s book experts and past winners.

This year’s competition was looking for illustrators of fresh and exciting picture books and, after two years of pandemic isolation, stories that reflected a desire for community, freedom and joy.

From a long list of twenty-four picture books by beginning illustrators, the jury narrowed down their search to six entries.

This year’s jury includes 2021 winner, Flavia Z Drago, and multi-award winning illustrator, Emily Gravett.

Ms. Delargy earned an MFA in Children’s Book Illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge School of Art. She describes it as a wonderful experience to be alongside former classmates in this year’s competition.

In 2019, she was selected for the Illustrators Exhibition at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy.

“I loved drawing from an early age, but never really thought about a career in illustration until a few years ago. When the MA illustration course caught my eye, I thought I would give it a try and apply.

“As a music graduate with no formal background in illustration, I wasn’t even sure I would be accepted. It was an amazing experience and such a joy to work in children’s illustration now.”

“Rescuing Titanic” is an illustrated version of the true story of the RMS Carpathia, the ship that changed course midway to help survivors of the 1912 Titanic disaster.

The Carpathia sailed through huge ice fields to arrive two hours after the sinking of the Titanic, saving 705 passengers and crew in the lifeboats.

The Carpathia was later torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1918 and sunk off the southern coast of Ireland with the loss of five crew members.

There is a deep family connection to Titanic for Flora – her grandfather and great-grandfather both worked in the Belfast shipyard.

“My grandfather worked at Harland & Wolff as a naval designer/architect, so the larger Titanic story naturally suits me. The Carpathia rescue mission was an interesting way to approach the subject,” said said Ms. Delargy.

“Reviews of the book have been quite positive, which is wonderful. It should be translated into French and German and is also on sale in the United States. Overall, I’m thrilled with how well Rescuing Titanic has been received! Ms. Delargy added.

The 2022 Klaus Flugge Prize winner is expected to be announced in September.

Rescuing Titanic is currently available on Amazon, Waterstones and other top bookstores

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