Carly Wilson (b. 1987) gained a BA honours degree in fashion at Edinburgh College of Art before going on to work in fashion and retail in both Scotland and Australia. Following a foundation course in jewellery at Edinburgh’s SilverHub Jewellery Studios, she began an HND jewellery course at City of Glasgow College in 2020. She expects to graduate in 2022.
As a student at Glasgow, Wilson took part in the 2021 BAMS Student Medal Project, in which her medal, I need company, I need human heat, won the grand second prize sponsored by Thomas Fattorini Ltd. About this medal, now issued by BAMS, the artist writes: ‘With my medal I have focused on the isolation that we all have been experiencing the past year during this global pandemic. In particular, I have concentrated on the idea of a comforting hug with loved ones and how much that has been missing from my life over the last twelve months. With that in mind, I have designed a two-sided medal intended to communicate the longing for that contact and to go some way towards fulfilling that desire while it is being held. On one side, there is a bird’s-eye view of two people embracing, while the other features the words “I need company, I need human heat”, which is a lyric from Scottish band Frightened Rabbit. The pictorial side is more tactile in its texture, with the contours of the hugging figures a pleasing surface to handle. By contrast, the reverse side is polished to a high shine, which simultaneously highlights the quote from the song and also feels smooth against the hand.
‘The whole shape of the medal has been designed to fit comfortably in the palm, inviting the holder to turn it, touch it and look at it repeatedly as a method of destressing. The weight and warmth of the medal recall those of the hug that it represents, while the image and lyric combine with the structural dimensions to impart a sense of comfort to the holder. In this way, the medal can serve as a symbolic gift from the giver to the receiver of the embrace that both are missing.’