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Thomas J Price: Network

Upper Lake

‘My inspiration comes from so many different places, but ultimately people are my biggest inspiration, or perhaps strangers is a better word.’

Thomas J Price

The three-metre-tall bronze Network takes the form of a young man in casual dress, looking at his phone. Typical of Thomas J Price's sculpture, the figure stands with a relaxed pose although his facial expression opens up the potential for a far more complex internal narrative.

In a time when sculpture has radically changed from its historical beginnings, and need no longer even be an object, Price shows that it is relevant to work in one of the oldest of methods and materials and still make highly original and contemporary work.

Bronze statues often represent and commemorate people of significance, predominantly white men. Price’s subjects are anonymous, usually composite, portraits of men in the street as well as images from magazines and newspapers. Through casting them in bronze and placing the figures on plinths, Price knowingly raises their status and subverts the tradition of sculpture and, in the process, the hierarchies of power it reflects.

Price is rapidly establishing a strong reputation for his mastery of traditional techniques, his representation of contemporary subject matter and his consideration of identity. In using bronze to depict composite portraits of ‘the man in the street’, particularly of African descent, Price knowingly challenges the versatile and durable material’s historic associations with authority and privilege.

"My inspiration comes from so many different places, but ultimately people are my biggest inspiration, or perhaps strangers is a better word. The psychological and emotional aspects of out first encounters with them and how we construct the truth of what is presented to us in those first moments. How some 'truths' seem universal and others vary from person to person has always fascinated me."