In 2014 British Medical Journal invited me to design an iconic sculpture to present to the winners at their annual award ceremony.
Ideas for the award centred on Minerva, the name of a popular and regular columnist in the BMJ magazine, but also Roman goddess of wisdom and medicine, amongst others.
I produced several maquettes. One maquette was then selected to be developed into the final design. This piece was inspired by the bust of Minerva found in Bath, England in 1727, a gilt bronze head, which is one of the best known objects from Roman Britain and a rare find.
I wanted the face to be roughly life-size and as Minerva was often depicted with an owl - being a symbol of wisdom, I modelling its stylised form into the back of the head.
Wanting the award to be truly three dimensional, it has surprising shapes from all views and bone/joint like qualities, especially when cast in white.
The brief was to create one bronze award and twelve casts. These are in a material called Jesmonite which has strong stone like qualities.