Mental Structure #19 (Just Beyond This) is one of three bronze busts from Thomas J Price’s ‘Head’ series, an ongoing project in which figurative portraits of imagined subjects are intended as psychological reflections of us, the viewers.

The busts are not quite life size, and all represent Black people whose features are an amalgamation drawn from real individuals, ‘types’ represented in the media, and also classical sculpture.

Price’s initial process of sculpting Head 13, which also part of the acquisition, was shown in the BBC documentary How to Get a Head in Sculpture, in which the actor David Thewlis sat for the artist. The resulting portrait has a different physiognomy to the sitter, but familiar traits that highlight the unifying human qualities we all share.

Mental Structure #19 (Just Beyond This) and Mental Structure #20 (A Long Time Now) were created during Price’s residency at the Nirox Sculpture Park in South Africa. Price’s amalgam portraits draw on observations of park staff and local residents, with references to historical sculpture.

Price, who lives and works in London, has been commissioned to create a new public sculpture in Hackney to honour the Windrush generation. The piece, supported by Art Fund, will be unveiled in June 2022.

The three busts from Price’s ‘Head’ series join the holdings of The Collection and Usher Gallery, where they relate to the historic work on display, and engage with current questions regarding diversity and representation in our museums and galleries.


The original clay sculpt was created during a residency at the Nirox Sculpture Park, South Africa. This work was exhibited during solo show, "Thomas J Price: Recent Works" at Harewood House, Leeds, UK, 2015. Artist copy is in a private collectio

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