Coins and their designs are rarely thought of as works of art – but over the next month an exclusive exhibition at the Royal Australian Mint will showcase just that.
The Assistant Treasurer, Senator Nick Sherry says the Mint’s inaugural art exhibition ‘Striking Art Lasting Impressions’ will highlight the work of Mint designer and sculptor Wojciech Pietranik.
"It is a tribute to a world-class, award-winning sculptor on twenty years of artistic contribution to the Mint and the Australian community," the Assistant Treasurer said.
"It’s a great pleasure to congratulate Wojciech Pietranik on his service at the Mint and for his valuable contribution to the coining industry — and to Australian art."
“Over the years, Wojciech has created a unique collection of art leaving a lasting impression in the history of coin design in Australia."
‘Striking Art Lasting Impressions’ exhibits a volume of coins and medallions that Mr Pietranik has designed for the Mint over the past 20 years. The collection includes commemorative coins for significant people and milestones in Australian history – such as the Gallipoli Anzacs and the Eureka Stockade.
One of Mr Pietranik’s most memorable achievements was winning the Sydney 2000 Olympic Victory Medal Competition, receiving the honour of designing the victory medals presented to athletes at the Games. These medals will be on display at the exhibition along with sculptures from his personal collection.
This is the first exhibition to be held in the newly refurbished Mint, which was officially opened by the Governor-General last September.
"The refurbished Mint is a modern and attractive tourist destination," the Assistant Treasurer said.
"The new surroundings provide a wonderful space for an exhibition of this standard and offer the promise of greater use of art and industry in the future,"
‘Striking Art Lasting Impressions‘ will be open to the public from Tuesday 19 January 2010 until Sunday 14 February 2010 and Mr Pietranik will appear at a special public event on Saturday 30 January at the Mint to share his thoughts on his work and the past twenty years.
About the Royal Australian Mint
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Royal Australian Mint (www.ramint.gov.au). Canberra, on Monday 22nd February 1965. The Mint was commissioned to produce Australia’s decimal coinage, which was to be introduced into circulation on 14th February 1966. The Royal Australian Mint holds a place in history as the first mint in Australia not to be a branch of the Royal Mint, London.
Since opening in 1965 the Mint has produced over eleven billion circulating coins and has the capacity to produce over two million coins per day, or over six hundred million coins per year.
The Royal Australian Mint has struck coins for a number of South Pacific nations. Export coins were first struck in 1969 for New Zealand and, since then, coins have been produced for Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Western Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Israel and Tokelau.