natasha ratcliffe

What is a medal, if it is not fought for or awarded, worn upon ribbons or like badges with honour? Medals have long existed beyond this stereotype, as a realm for artistic expression, depicting not only portraits and events, but contemporary thought.

 

I make medals; I am as they call me, a medallist. I carve, model, sculpt, cast, strike and engrave. I do this because the form forces me to think a little harder, to have a little more attention to detail.

 

The constraints of the form are merely boundaries to push against. Conversations can be had between the two sides. The intimacy of the size encourages a physical engagement. The content is forced to condense, often resulting in tactile pieces, with ideas and concepts far larger than size might suggest. Contemporary art medals are often highly politicized and are reactions to events and feelings of the time.