2012 An Olympic Odyssey Kubrick Designer Unveils Olympic Medal Design
Here is a first glimpse of the 2012 Olympic medals struck by the Welsh Mint and designed by Artist David Watkins. The medals bear the logo of the London games and depict Nike, the Greek Goddess of Victory, stepping out of the Parthenon to arrive in the host city. The front side of the medal illustrates a bowl resembling an amphitheatre a reference to the origins of the games. The overall circular shape is a symbol of the world, while the back side contains a drawing of the River Thames, to reflect London along with a square to break up the medal’s round design emphasising the focus on the centre. Under the London 2012 logo is a grid to add “a sense of embracement. The design also depicts an image of radiating energy that represents the athletes’ achievement and effort”. Watkins, who was one of the special effects designers of 2001: A Space Odyssey, said he was delighted when his proposition was selected from six shortlisted designs.The gold medal is made up of 92.5% silver, 1.34% gold (a minimum of 6g) while the remainder is copper. The silver medal is 92.5% silver and the rest is copper, while the bronze medallists win medals that are made up of 97% copper, 2.5% zinc and 0.5% tin.
David Watkins’ begin his career as a jazz pianist, sculptor and model-maker for Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey All of these fields have influenced his jewellery designs and the stylistic development his work has undergone. His early pieces were still sculpture in miniature but he later switched to producing outsize wearable objects. Watkins has become increasingly involved with investigating the relationship between jewellery and the wearer’s body. To take one example, a piece of rigid, geometric neck jewellery actually emphasizes the soft curves of the person wearing it so that a visual dialogue is sparked off between the human body and the object adorning it. At the same time, Watkins’ jewellery is growing towards autonomous art-object status. The register spread of his “idiom” encompasses stringent structures through monochrome Minimalism to improvised compositions in vibrant forms and colours. His most recent work, on the other hand, features symbols and metaphors informed by abstract mysticism.