Sandeha Lynch (b. 1953) graduated from Cambridge College of Arts and Technology in 1988, later gaining an MSc from the University of Surrey and a postgraduate certificate in education at Swansea Metropolitan University. He was a winner of the Royal Society of Arts design bursary competition for a medal in 1987 and produced a medal for BAMS in 1994. He recently designed the Aikenhead Award medal for the Scottish Secular Society and is currently working on a series of medal designs covering issues of social change. As well as specialising in relief art, he is also a photographer.
About his new BAMS medal, L00K, he writes: ‘The number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in small boats has been increasing year on year since the 1990s, initially from the Balkans as a consequence of the break-up of Yugoslavia and more recently from Syria and north Africa. The sea crossing has become more perilous in recent times as an ever increasing number of people try to reach Europe. The International Organization for Migration recorded over 3,200 deaths by drowning in 2014 alone.
‘The medal highlights the problem by contrasting optimism and loss through representational and abstract images. The obverse shows two children who have survived the sea crossing, safely nestled within the scallop shell of Botticelli’s Venus. One boy is clearly excited by what he sees ahead of him; the other glances to one side, looking anxious and apprehensive. The source was a news photo taken at the port of Augusta in Sicily in April 2015. The reverse is an eye in the outline of a small dinghy. The title L00K appears as a nameplate on a piece of driftwood. The figure of thousands, ‘,000’, referencing the unknown numbers of people who have lost their lives trying to cross the Mediterranean, appears as buckle holes on the broken straps of a life vest. A watery tide is drawn towards a vortex in the centre, covering the eye.’