Born in 1937 at Teteringen in The Netherlands, the sculptor and medallist Guus Hellegers trained at the Royal Academy of Plastic Arts, The Hague, from 1954 to 1959, and at the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, from 1964 to 1965. Since then he has contributed to many exhibitions in The Netherlands and other countries, and has been represented at FIDEM exhibitions since 1969. His work is in many public and private collections, and has been the subject of a number of publications. Hellegers was for some years art critic of the Leeuwarder Courant. In 1996 he won the FIDEM grand prize at Neuchâtel, and as a result of this was invited to the BAMS 1997 conference at York and commissioned to make a medal for the society. The artist describes the genesis of his BAMS medal, The Garden of Eden: ‘For some time I have had a file on structures for my medals. This file is expanding continually. I had a structure of branches, which I wished to use for my design, so I made a cast and scratched a large gate across it. The twigs were coming into leaf. A gate with a thicket behind it. A gate invites to be opened. You have to go through it. But how? I added a small pair of scissors. You have to make a conscious choice to go through on this medal. How to continue? Whenever I am engaged in making a medal, I play with ideas for the text. When you go through such a strange gate, what do you find, what will happen to you? All can become different. All will become different. All will be different? Yes, henceforth all will be different. ‘In my larger sculptures I am working on dream gates. Perhaps a dream gate for this reverse? Or my home as my castle? A castle in the air? Daydream? My dream is my castle? Did I have in mind perhaps that everyone should have a place in which to retreat? Literally or figuratively? A hut, a nest, as long as it is a safe place? A nest as a dream? Yes. And underneath a town, a kind of Manhattan, big, huge. For Hellegers this window becomes a symbol of the journey through life, it allows for freedom to make things different, depending on how you actively choose to read the vistas you are facing.