Olympic medal designer receives honour
The designer of the medals for the London 2012 Olympics has received an honorary degree from the University of Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton-born artist David Watkins was presented with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design at a ceremony on Thursday, 6 September 2012.
The honour from the University’s School of Art & Design was made in recognition of David’s significant local and international contribution in the field of design.
David said: “I would like to thank the University for this very great honour. I just want to say to all the graduates have a really great career. Follow your hearts and have good lives.”
The front of each medal for the London Olympics carried the same imagery as at every summer games: the Greek goddess of victory, Nike, stepping out of the Parthenon to arrive in the host city. David’s design featured the River Thames as an iconic symbol of the city of London on the back.
Born in Wolverhampton in 1940, David Watkins began his education at Wolverhampton Grammar School before going on to study Fine Art at Reading University.
He began his career in the 1960s in sculpture, design and special effects modelling and was a special effects maker for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 1978, David travelled to Australia to become an artist in residence at the Curtin University, before returning to the UK to join the Royal College of Art, firstly as a Professor in Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork and Jewellery, and then as a Research Professor of Jewellery. In 2009, he was made Professor Emeritus.
Throughout his career David has also been a Liveryman of the Goldsmiths Company; a Trustee of the Haystack School for Crafts in Maine, USA; and most recently, a Royal Designer for Industry.
David has been exhibiting his work for nearly 40 years, including at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Mikimoto Hall, Tokyo; and most recently at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, with a retrospective exhibition titled Artist in Jewellery, a Retrospective View (1972-2010).
The University of Wolverhampton’s graduation ceremonies take place at the Grand Theatre from Thursday, 6 September to Friday, 14 September 2012.
Picture: David Watkins receives his honorary degree
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