The year 2012 carries with it a special significance for many people throughout the world, whether it’s radical prophecies forecasting changes for the planet and humanity to our collective hopes and fears. Amidst the confusion and uncertainty, Britain has had national events that have shone like beacons amongst the darkness of uncertainty. The Jubilee concert earlier this year demonstrated just how well we can put on a party as it showcased our wealth of musical talent and our collective homage to a Queen who is a true role model for integrity, hard work and social responsibility.
The Olympic Games opened last Friday evening in style, with design playing an integral part of the orchestration of the set which moved and changed as the ceremony progressed. The culmination of the ceremony was the lighting of Thomas Heatherwick’s cauldron with the Olympic flame.
Heatherwick Studio designed the cauldron with 204 copper petals, each one representing the competing nations which was lit by seven young athletes chosen by British Olympic champions. Once each petal was ablaze, the pipes rose up to join them as one, in a culmination of actions that sent out a strong message of unity, strength and forward movement whilst also supporting the official slogan of this year’s games – Inspire A Generation.
Petals in production at the Heathwick Studio (Photograph: Olympic Official Tumblr)
An exhibition about the Olympic Cauldron has been added to Heatherwick Studio’s on going exhibition at the V&A. Whilst there are many of us who might like to get our hands on one of those gorgeous copper petals, it will be quite a remarkable feat to do so. As an alternative, why not get your hands one of our vintage Olympic prints of the second London Olympic games in 1948? The 1948 games (the second out of three, the first being in 1908) were known as the austerity games due to the post war rationing and stark economic climate.
Not only is this print a tasteful souvenir of our historical past, it combines the symbolism of the ancient games with the sculpture of Discobolus with the 5 interlocking rings of the modern games. The monarchy still play an important role in the Games, from this print’s Big Ben’s clock showing 4pm, which was the time that King George VI would proclaim the Games open, to our Queen Elizabeth II’s appearance in Danny Boyle’s spoof film, a review of which you can read here if you missed it.
As for the games, all we can hope for is gold. Go team GB!