Double-sided


Having become interested in the medal and familiarising myself with some of the techniques, I began to use the convention of using both sides. It became a challenge to form a link between the sides and working from the landscape provided exhilarating subject matter for this purpose. Our eyes constantly switch between the horizon and the path we take, absorbing both the small close detail and the broad sweep of hills and pastures. The two sides of the medal were an opportunity to record the sensations of this experience. To be shared by the visual and tactile senses, while turning the medal from side to side in the hand. Inscriptions are another medallic convention and experiments were made, attempting to increase the expressiveness of the works by including these. Although no claim is made for the words to be poetry, it was felt that rather as in the use of a title, some clues could be added to heighten the enjoyment of the occasion.

There is a continuing debate as to, 'what is a medal', particularly when many contemporary medals are made of materials and of a form that are not usually expected under this title. However, artists and patrons throughout the world, under the aegis of The Fédération Internationale de la Médaille, founded in Paris in 1937 have accepted the name as a way of describing such work. Essentially the works utilise qualities of weight, texture and form, demand a tactile exploration demonstrating that the holding of medals is an integral aspect of their enjoyment.

"In the last decade Dutton has fully explored aspects of the medal which were absent from his earlier work; the incorporation of text and the exploitation of the polarity between obverse and reverse. This has enabled him to make poetic statements, combining word and image to create a unified work made up of both greater than either. It has also enabled him to convey his passionate concern about the spoilation of the natural environment in pieces which call upon and reinforce the reputation of the medal as among the most political of art form"

Mark Jones Director, Victoria & Albert Museum, Catalogue "Circles in Bronze" 1992 City of Wolverhampton Art Gallery

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