The sculpture Empowerment by artist Lorenzo Quinn recognises and celebrates the work of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. Since its inception over six decades ago, the Award has helped to improve the lives of millions of young people worldwide, empowering them with opportunities for self-development. The touchingly simple image of two young people, working together to support the world, is a fitting tribute to the values at the heart of the Award. Empowerment celebrates the work of its founder HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, all those who work and volunteer for the Award, the alumni and the current participants
For the past 12 years, Halcyon Gallery have been passionate supporters of the inspiring work of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. We believe that part of our commitment to society is to help change the lives of young people all over the globe. At Halcyon Gallery, we have had the privilege to see the incredible power of placing art in the public realm, the emotional response it can have on people and its positive impact on the environment.
This year Halcyon Gallery and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation will be launching the largest art fundraising programme ever undertaken by the Award, through a ground-breaking artistic initiative: the Empowerment sculpture programme.
All profits from the sale of the sculptures will go towards The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, which has benefitted millions of young people to date.
Halcyon Gallery and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation are working on a major public placement of a 3-metre edition of Empowerment in the heart of London that will become a landmark destination for Award alumni, participants and volunteers throughout the year. To launch the Empowerment fundraising programme internationally, further sculptures will be placed in major cities around the world, with the first of these to be installed in Hong Kong in 2019.
Empowerment epitomises everything The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award believes in and stands for, what the young people who participate in the Award strive for, and why the project means so much to all those involved.
Empowerment relates closely to the Award’s drive to promote the importance of non-formal education, which challenges young people to dream big, celebrate their achievements and make a difference in their world. By developing transferable skills, increasing fitness levels, cultivating a sense of adventure and volunteering in the community, the Award helps young people to thrive. Perhaps most importantly, the Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Thus, the universal message of Empowerment speaks to each individual on a personal level, as well as representing the extraordinary achievements of us all as a worldwide community.
Empowerment is a limited edition sculpture in a number of sizes including – 35 cm, 60 cm, 1.5 metres and 3 metres – in polished bronze and aluminium. Each sculpture will feature a stamp of the Artist’s signature and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award insignia. A specially commissioned book and short film accompany the piece which capture and bring to life the unique story behind the sculpture.
Every edition of Empowerment will be made at Lorenzo Quinn’s sculpture foundry in Spain, where he works with the millennia-old ‘lost-wax’ casting process to create his works of art in bronze and aluminium. An individual work can take months to complete; each artwork is the result of intense dedication and the highest level of technical expertise.
“I have long been a supporter of causes that inspire young people to actively take control of their lives, and in doing so, develop their own self-confidence. Believing in yourself gives you the power to accomplish anything. The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award represents exactly this concept – offering young people new opportunities, and thus empowering them to grow and feel their worth.” Lorenzo Quinn
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award was founded by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in 1956, in conjunction with Kurt Hahn, the German educationalist. Modelled on Hahn’s ‘Moray Badge’ scheme, the Award or DofE, as it is sometimes known, was intended as a means to support young people on their journey of self-development, regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills or interests.
Six decades later and millions of young people have been inspired to transform their lives and become the best that they can be. Today more than one million young people are striving to achieve their Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards in over 130 countries and territories.
Yet the Founder’s vision, purpose and principles remain at the core of the Award’s ethos as well as his fervent hope that,
“Everyone who takes part in the Award will find an added purpose and pleasure in their lives. I am quite sure that all those who help to run it will gain that special sense of satisfaction which comes from helping others to discover hidden abilities and overcome a challenge.”
Now, perhaps, is the moment to acknowledge and recognise that vision, that contribution, that impact and that quite extraordinary legacy that is The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.