Photo: Jannes Linders

New sculpture on Stationsplein

The almost four meter high bronze statue of a young woman titled Moments Contained (2022) by the British artist Thomas J Price will be given a place on Stationsplein. The Droom en Daad Foundation donates the artwork to the city of Rotterdam. The sculpture at this prominent location thus forms the starting point for the unique Rotterdam sculpture route that continues via the sculpture terrace on the Westersingel to Rotterdam South. On Friday 2 June at 16.00 p.m. the artwork will be Moments Contained unveiled at Stationsplein in the presence of Gunay Uslu, Secretary of State for Culture and Media, Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and artist Thomas J Price. 

Thomas J Price (London, 1981) is known for his large bronze sculptures of contemporary figures he calls 'everymen' and 'everywomen'. He wants to dismantle the power structures that maintain traditional sculpture and consciously chooses to create imaginary characters. His sculptures are created by combining classical sculpture and new digital technology. Despite their scale, the images appear modest and instantly recognisable, inviting us to reflect on how we collectively occupy the space.

Moments Contained is about the feeling of being dismissed as 'the other'. Price: "I've placed my work in public space before and I love that it makes people aware of the things that have surrounded us for centuries, thousands of years – often images of powerful men. The scale of the work is there to challenge our current conceptions of outdoor art, who is allowed to be seen? Who should be represented?" At first glance, the woman appears stoic, but the knuckle marks in her trouser pockets reveal that she's not actually as casual as she appears. “For me, there is a sense of self-control or emotion and psychological tension that can be expressed at any moment." It stands for the emotions and the recognition of them, even if the other person is not like you, Price said in an interview with curator Shehera Grot in the Kunstbode. 

“The impressive statue of the young woman, four meters high, deserves a prominent place in the city,” says alderman for culture Said Kasmi. “That is the forecourt of Central Station par excellence. Many passers-by pass here every day. This impressive work of art will hopefully make passers-by pause for a moment. Literally, to admire the beautiful statue and figuratively, to reflect on its symbolism. Always can and may be who you are. Side by side, connected. What a beautiful image that will soon be!” 

It is the second donation from the Droom en Daad Foundation to Rotterdam in the context of International Women's Day. This day is all about the militancy and solidarity of women worldwide. In 2021, the sculpture terrace The Plait by Kalliopi Lemos revealed, a severed braid as an activist gesture. Sculpture International Rotterdam, program of CBK Rotterdam, is now once again enriched with a powerful statement about the position of women. The statue will be placed on the Stationsplein for five years, after which this location will be evaluated.

On the occasion of the publication of 'Moments Contained' by Thomas J Price, Simone Zeefuik (writer, cultural programmer and organizer) wrote a two-part essay about love, silence and recognisability. Part 1 is now available to read at this link.

© Thomas J Price, courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth, photo: Kunstgiesserei St.Gallen

Publication date: 30 / 05 / 2023