Natasha Ratcliffe (b. 1982) made her first medal as a student in 2002, went on to be the first BAMS New Medallist, and has since made work privately and for commission. She casts her own bronze work in a self-built foundry. Often inspired by nature, she enjoys using the constraints of the medal to be playful.
She writes about her new BAMS medal, Above, Below and the In-between: ‘The largest known animal, the blue whale, secretly helps a tiny manned sail boat above the ocean lip on the obverse. They are known to be notoriously compassionate animals, and the medal reflects the balance of the world, how everything interplays, though often hidden from plain sight. Sailing is often regarded as a true human freedom, a humbling relationship with nature, an adventurous balance between calm and storm, where knowledge of the ocean, constellations and the weather are indispensable.
‘The reverse is zoomed in, the same midnight sky, the stars mirrored exactly, but showcasing the smaller creatures which are all part of the harmony – feeding the whale, feeding us, keeping the ocean in balance – less epic in story-telling, yet as important. The edge is ridged, a small nod to many coins, but here joining the flow of the ocean on both sides. We live in an age where reflecting on how beautiful and intertwined everything is has never been so important. Love will propel us further than fear can push us … I hope. So here is a celebration of the above, the below and all that lies in-between.’