Edmund de Waal (b. 1964) is an artist and writer. De Waal is best known for his large-scale installations of porcelain vessels, which are informed by his passion for architecture, space and sound. His work has been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, with recent exhibitions at Artipleag, Stockholm; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Kunsthaus, Graz; Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin; Gagosian Gallery, Beverley Hills and New York; and the Royal Academy in London. His work can be found in numerous public collections worldwide, with major installations at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the University of Cambridge; Chatsworth House, Derbyshire; and the new Asian Pavilion at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.
De Waal has been widely published. His family memoir, The hare with amber eyes (2010), has won many literary awards and is an international bestseller, with editions published in over thirty languages. His second book,The white road, was published in 2015. The same year he was awarded the Windham-Campbell prize for non-fiction by Yale University.
Edmund de Waal was made an OBE for his services to art in 2011. He has been on the Advisory Committee for The Royal Mint since 2012 and is currently a trustee for The Saturday Club and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
He writes: ‘This extraordinary invitation to create a BAMS medal was wonderfully provocative. I kept coming back to the image of the obol, the silver coin given to Charon as payment for that great transition at death across the river Styx. This seemed a core image. I’ve created a silver coin. On one side is an image taken from an early Greek lekythos of the prow of Charon’s boat and the single word “vale”, farewell. On the reverse are the words, “this is Charon’s obol. A kind of viaticum – what fierce brightness.” I made the model in porcelain and have worked the clay to give a feeling of something worn away and abraded.’