Julia Gonyou: Winner Professional Artist (2018)

Julia’s design is powerful, bringing movement, depth and freedom in its interpretation of the Lord Mayor’s achievements – “the positive tides he set in motion”. The judges particularly liked the design’s sense of engagement, a vortex almost, pulling the viewer in and offering a glimpse of Lord Mountevans’ energy, interests and responsibilities.

Helen Whittaker

Chair of the Judging Panel

Narrative by Julia Gonyou of her winning roundel

The Roundel designed for Alderman the Lord Mountevans is composed to embody his supportive and progressive role during his term as Lord Mayor. The Lord’s interests are represented with momentous movement and thoughtful symbolism so that his values are not incrementally stated but appear to come alive.

The square mile perimeter of The City of London is sandblasted from mouth-blown red flashed glass. Using the sandblaster free-hand and with a fluid resist, the effects of water effectively translates onto blue flashed glass. These two vibrant pieces of glass are double plated as the centre of the composition. Sandblasting creates a fine semi-opaque texture with many tonal transitions in-between, though further high-kiln firings smoothen and clarify this texture. Gestural strokes of yellow silver stain, applied to the reverse sides, deepen the visual layers while reinforcing further imagery and offering notes of optimism. Certain details are outlined with black paint while others appear to be suspended within the layers; this combination directly relates to the spectrum of defined and variable responsibilities of the Lord Mayor himself.

The golden ships symbolise the Lord’s continuous involvement with various maritime liveries, charities and companies. These vessels sail from the outline of the City of London and it’s overlapping cityscape – England’s financial and resourceful capital – to navigate and reinforce a nation of competent, innovative and empowered individuals. The circulating force of the yellow and blue wave cradles the city, embodies the Earth and carries our influential contributions to the global community.

In the border, certain sandblasted and painted motifs further describe the Lord’s connections to The House of Lords, The Goldsmiths and The Wheelwrights liveries, and highlight once again the history between The City of London and of England. This Roundel is designed to be a platform for Alderman the Lord Mountevans to reflect on the positive tides he set in motion and to give him cause to revel in tranquil contemplation.