Giant head sculpture to raise awareness of mental health issues

Head Above Water aims to spark conversations and raise awareness of mental health issues. Credit: Time to Change

A giant head is set to be constructed above the Thames on the South Bank aiming to spark conversations and raise awareness of mental health issues.

The 9m-high sculpture, called Head Above Water, is designed by Brit Steuart Padwick and is part of the London Design Festival and will stand from 15 to 23 September.

The installation on Gabriel’s pier will be deliberately neutral in terms of gender, ethnicity and age, and aims to stands as a symbol of hope, bravery, compassion, positivity and change, for those who have come through or are still confronting mental health issues, and the people who support them.

The enormous public art piece supports Time to Change, the anti-stigma mental health campaign and is a symbol to challenge attitudes and stimulate perception and understanding around mental health.

The British designer Steuart Padwick said, "Head Above Water is a symbol of hope. It needed to be big, powerful and prominent… a beacon of humanity caring for others. This is not my head or about my battles. This is for those who have or have had mental health issues…. I want anybody and everybody to relate to it….to open a door perhaps …."

Jo Loughran, Director of Time to Change said: "Located on the bustling South Bank, Head Above Water will be seen by millions, prompting contemplation and encouraging conversations about mental health. Sadly mental health problems are often confined to hushed conversations in quiet corners so we're excited to support this project which proudly brings it into the light."