20 July 2020: British sculptor Thomas J Price has revealed a larger-than-life statue of a Black woman set to be installed in East London.
Dubbed, Reaching Out, the 9-ft-tall bronze artwork depicts an ‘everyday’ woman intently studying her mobile phone – a contemporary riposte to classical statues that celebrates modern Black identity.
‘Reaching Out is my first individual full figure representation of a woman, and one of very few public sculptures of a Black woman in the UK (one of the first being a short distance from where I grew up),’ Price writes on Instagram. ‘This new work, depicting a young woman standing holding a mobile phone in both hands, continues a theme of balancing experiences of isolation and connectedness, whilst acknowledging the different ways in which technology mediates our lives.’
Price created the artwork for The Line sculpture trail, which runs between the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and The O2, following the Greenwich Meridian and waterways of East London. The trail includes artworks by Anthony Gormley, Alex Chinneck, Carsten Holler and Laura Ford, with upcoming pieces from Rana Begum, Madge Gill, Yinka Ilori and Price, among others.
Thomas J Price also penned a critical take-down of Marc Quinn’s temporary 3D-printed Bristol statue of Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid last week for The Art Newspaper.
‘In my opinion, Quinn has literally created the votive statue to appropriation. It could well overshadow any permanent sculpture that eventually goes there, hindering real progress during a moment of activism that should have showcased a Black artist’s output, not that of a white cis man.’
‘Quinn effectively colonised that space in Bristol again in a way that sabotaged the process that was going on in the city,’ Price told The Guardian.