Tell us about the early design brief
LOCOG asked for a classic design piece for the Paralympic medal, which contained a narrative from the front to the back. The brief also called for the designs for the Olympic and Paralympic medals to refer to each other.
What inspired your design concept?
Nike, the goddess of victory, is iconic for the Games. She is emblematic and features on the Olympic medal, but I also thought that her spirit represented and linked all that would be part of London 2012 and in my view, that would also encompass the Paralympic Games. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to feature a part of the goddess – a more authentic and ‘spiritual’ part of her – in abstract form for the Paralympic medal.
What challenges did you face along the way?
The process involved trying out many, many variations of the different elements I wanted to use to see which would visually work together and be technically possible in terms of the textural and tactile qualities in the striking process.
Keeping the secret strictly in the bag…
- Everything was so top secret that I felt as though I was in a James Bond movie! I love talking about my work so it was highly unusual that I couldn’t talk to anyone about the project. Two years from design brief to delivery is the longest I’ve ever had to wait to see a piece I’ve designed being worn. I felt a huge sense of relief when I finally saw a winning athlete wear it and it only became real for me from that point onwards. Everyone I worked with who supported me through the making process was so respectful towards the medal that no-one, including myself, dared to wear it, not even a prototype, for fear of bringing bad luck to it.