Published 21st August 2020

Stamp Competition: Meet the Winners!

We were delighted to recently announce the winners of the stamp design competition.  We are also happy to report that HM The Queen has approved all the designs in their stamp form.

We think they make a rather nice and vibrant set.   The ‘Discovering Antarctica’ theme is well captured across the designs.

Getting to know the winners!

Dorothy, age 6 from Cambridge has told us:

I chose to draw a humpback whale because I like whales and I saw one in my Snail & the Whale book. I know they live in Antarctica.”

Dorothy with her winning design. Credit: Joanne Johnson

For anyone unfamiliar with ‘Snail and the Whale’, it is a popular children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.  (We’re fans of the book too!).  Whales are also seeing a recovery in numbers in the Antarctic region, previously they were unfortunately hunted in large numbers.

Jessica, age 8 from Great Bedwyn explained:

I love learning about animals from around the world and I wanted to show lots of the Antarctic animals that I heard about from a talk at school.”

Jessica with her winning design. Credit: Louise Barry

Jessica is right to highlight the range of wildlife, which live in the Antarctic.  From seals, whales, sea creatures, fish, penguins and a variety of other bird species.  In her design, Jessica has also captured a visiting scientist who looks delighted at their surroundings.

Oliver, age 10 from London explained:

“I have been inspired by multiple things to draw and paint this image. First of all, during my holidays, I completed my junior PADI diving qualification, which is the reason I added a diver and some special Antarctic underwater creatures. Secondly, icebergs are very common in Antarctica but I thought, as this was a stamp, it would be good for people to see the continent as an iceberg. The final thing is that there are many types of sea birds living in Antarctica. I didn’t want to include any penguins as I knew these would be a common feature in other competitors’ stamps but I did include a species of petrel which my parents saw on their trip to Antarctica. They even brought back and showed some original Antarctic stamps from many years ago which I was very excited to see!“

Oliver with his winning design. Credit: Victoria Sander

So glad to see that Oliver has taken inspiration from many things.  Icebergs, like the one in his design show that they come in wonderful and strange shapes as well as varying sizes. They are made from freshwater ice and some are so big due to snow that has fallen on them for hundreds of years. With Oliver’s new diving skills, perhaps he’ll discover an actual iceberg in the shape of Antarctica.

Samaira, age 14 from Bishop’s Stortford has told us:

“My mother’s first-hand experience of visiting Rothera, the UK research station in Antarctica, helped me to appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of this continent which I wanted to portray in the design. During the Discovery Expedition, Scott, Wilson and Shackleton were key crew members who demonstrated crucial characteristics including perseverance and resourcefulness which is why I wanted to illustrate their voyage. In the stamp, I drew the Discovery Ship and the tethered hydrogen balloon that Scott took to the air during the expedition.”

Samaira with her winning design. Credit: Sadia Karim

What a journey that must have been for Captain Scott and his crew. Samaira is right that their efforts showed extreme resourcefulness and perseverance. Her depiction of Scott and his balloon conducting aerial reconnaissance stands the test of time. We still use this method today to monitor climate change and weather patterns in Antarctica.

Note: Images are not for reproduction elsewhere without explicit permission