Reflecting on the Creation of the Queen's Baton
Updated: Aug 9, 2022
Creating the Queen’s Relay Baton took several creative and experimental thinking
with an immense amount of consideration for the Baton's journey, its practicality and design. I believe our initial goal as Maokwo representatives was to create something that will inform the ideology from which the Commonwealth is established and a representation of the common society.
Nurturing and Leadership are some of the fundaments that narrated our concepts. With the Queen’s upcoming jubilee, it was important to celebrate this alongside her role as a motherly figure in a leadership role.
The structure and shape of our Baton took inspiration from these ideas, with organic material promoting sustainability and commonwealth. The composition of natural commodity and fluidity included all walks of the Commonwealth nations. We also felt the city of Birmingham has largely influenced the culture and shaping of the UK in terms of its democratic and industrial revolution history.
The designer engineers at Raymont Osman and Kajul were essential in visually dissecting our ideas and concept while implicating all practicality of the object. Raymont Osman organised an amazing productive space where both artists and designers worked perfectly in collaboration by sharing researched observations and product knowledge while exchanging ideas and thoughts.
I believe the concepts we established were important based on the topics they addressed, such as women’s equal rights, black lives and gender marginalisation. These topics were not only important worldly conversations but also personal to some of the members of the creative parties.
We as Maokwo were concerned that in the manifesto of the Baton, some established ideas weren’t elaborated on nor exuded at all. This, unfortunately, suggested a lack of interest from the designing team to challenge the oppression some minority groups must experience, therefore leaving the story behind the Baton disorientated between the product and its functional concept. It’s no surprise that the judging board sensed some of this disorientation and asked the design team to reconsider the concept. Once they did, we still detected the design team only included ideas they felt most comfortable with.
Despite these challenges and lack of acknowledgement of the process from which I believe originates the basis of embarking on the opportunity to complete this project, I still strongly believe the Baton itself holds the concepts and ideas we narrated.
I am extremely proud to be part of conceptualising this Baton and I enjoyed the opportunity to experience the process.
Thank you to Karen Newman, founder of BOM, for inviting Laura Nyahuye/Maokwo to this project.
The Queens Baton was created in collaboration with BOM (Birmingham Open Media), Raymont Osman, Kajul and Maokwo.