The Royal Mint and the Victoria and Albert Museum went to town last week, with an amazing party for the launch of the new Lunar Calendar Coin series, starting with the year of the horse 2014. The building was lit with a festive red glow, and there were banners displaying my design, a wall of champagne, coins and linocuts in cases on display, a video of the making process and lots of of friendly faces. It was practically like a wedding! 


My photographer friend, Chris McLennan, took some pictures of the event, my talk and the showcases displaying the coins and prints.

Copyright Chris McLennan

Talking about my observations as a vet


Image of Chinese Horse brush paintings


The first coin design mock up






Proof quality coins

Looking very happy and holding the five ounce coin




The dies used for stamping the coins, plus a linocut of the Uffington Horse




Some of my earlier prints


Close up of the coins and diesMAC_9941This is the second linocut of the horse that I made for this project


A huge poster of the horse print

My talk was about how lucky I felt to be selected for this commission, but that also it felt like a very good fit for my skills: in that I have animal knowledge from training and working as a vet, while also art experience with over 25 years of making prints.

Although there was food and drink fit for royalty being served, I was whisked away for interviews with China Central TV, China Radio International, China Daily UK, and Lavender’s Blue Magazine. The location was in a side gallery of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which had, aptly, a huge altarpiece of St. George on a magnificent horse.

Here is a link to the video footage in English (minutes 14:00-16:33 ) from CNC news and the link to footage in Chinese from the Xinhua network (approx 25 minutes in).

Lavender Blue’s article is here.


St George on a horse, killing the dragon

The Royal Mint had also produced a beautiful publication and a video for the launch, so I felt incredibly honoured to be part of this experience, and also very happy to share the occasion with the friends and family who made it along.

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

Copyright Chris McLennan

I have to say one of the best bits about the whole event was seeing my parents so proud… IMG_2278