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Statue of black woman on phone to become art trail’s latest installation

PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 July 2020

Artist's impression of the sculpture on display. Picture: The Line

Artist's impression of the sculpture on display. Picture: The Line

The Line

A new sculpture depicting a black woman on her phone is set to be unveiled as an art trail’s latest installation.

Thomas J Price working on a scale model of the sculpture. Picture: Adam KaletaThomas J Price working on a scale model of the sculpture. Picture: Adam Kaleta

Reaching Out, by Thomas J Price, has been commissioned to mark the fifth anniversary of The Line - an art walk that runs through Newham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.

The nine foot tall statue features an anonymous young woman absorbed in silent communication on her phone and will be one of just three public sculptures of a black woman in the UK.

Thomas said: “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.

“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.”

Reaching Out by Thomas J Price. Picture: The LineReaching Out by Thomas J Price. Picture: The Line

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It has been funded by London Legacy Development Corporation’s Neighbourhood Priorities Fund, and is set to be installed at Three Mills Green, on the Stratford side of the River Lea, next month.

It will be the second piece of art by Thomas to feature as part of The Line, with an earlier piece called Network one of the inaugural works on the three mile trail when it launched in 2015.

Megan Piper, director of The Line, said, “The lack of diversity in the public realm is under long-overdue scrutiny and this installation – as a portrait of a contemporary black woman, rather than a sculpture depicting a historically celebrated (white male) figure – feels particularly pertinent.

“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with Thomas J Price. His earlier installation, Network, was one of our inaugural loans in 2015 and was a highlight of our programme for local communities.”

Justine Simons, London’s deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries, added: “London’s strength is its diversity yet many of our stories, our histories and our communities are not reflected in our public realm.

“Thomas J Price is an inspiring artist who regularly explores these themes of representation and perception through his work, so I’m delighted that his new sculpture will be joining The Line’s collection of works.”


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