We have a winner!

9 September 2009

House of Cards winner

A Darwin-inspired illustration of an insect by London-based artist Mauricio Ortiz has won Shelter’s House of Cards design competition.

Mauricio's illustration will hang alongside the works of top artists including Damien Hirst, Vivienne Westwood and David Bailey.

Launched in association with Metro newspaper, the competition invited budding artists to create an eight of clubs playing card to complete a deck designed by 52 of the country’s leading artists.

The deck will be displayed at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London later this month in an exhibition that's part of our House of Cards campaign, created by Leo Burnett London, to raise awareness of Britain’s housing crisis.

Over 500 entries were received, showcasing a range of creative techniques including embroidery, photography, graphic design, and painting.

Members of the public were given a week to vote on their favourite entries before the top five were put forward to artist, animation director and film-maker Simon Henwood who chose the overall winner.

Mauricio, 47, originally from Costa Rica, has been living and working as an artist in London for over 25 years. He has collaborated with celebrities including Robert Plant and Jamie Oliver but still works part-time as a waiter at art industry events to support his career.

Mauricio said: 'Words cannot describe what it means for me to have won this competition. I have been striving so hard for so many years to build my profile as an artist and now at last I have the opportunity to be recognised and appreciated on the same level as the artists I have waited on over the years and who I admire.

'As a beneficiary of social housing in London, Shelter is also a charity close to my heart, making this experience even more special for me. I hope that the people who visit the exhibition will enjoy and appreciate my work.'

Shelter Chief Executive Sam Younger said:

'I’d like to congratulate Mauricio for his winning design which clearly involved a great deal of time, skill and creativity.

'His efforts will help us to raise vital awareness of the depth of Britain’s housing crisis. With an estimated 65,000 homes facing repossession this year and 6 million households suffering stress and depression because of housing costs, more and more people are coming to Shelter for help and support.'

As part of his prize, Mauricio will also attend an exclusive launch party for the exhibition held at the Haunch of Venison gallery, where the exhibition will run from Thursday 24 September to Monday 28 September 2009.