Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Head above Water exhibit on South Bank


British designer Steuart Padwick will make a dramatic change to the London skyline during designjunction in support of mental health with his project Head Above Water. With its panoramic views of St Paul Cathedral and the iconic city skyline, Head Above Water is a 9 metre high sculpture on Queen’s Stone jetty (aka Gabriel’s pier) on London’s South Bank. The project has been supported by funding from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience and the NIHR Maudsley BRC. 

The ‘Head’ is deliberately gender, ethnicity and age neutral and 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 sculpture will light up at night and participants will be able to engage with its changing colours through a designated, real-time Twitter feed.

Richard Barnard, Director of Administration at the IoPPN said, ‘We are delighted that the IoPPN and NIHR Maudsley BRC have had the opportunity to get involved with this beautiful and empathic art project. Not only is it symbol of compassion and positivity, it also raises awareness of mental health and challenges some of the stigma surrounding it.’ 

Dr Sally Marlow, Engagement and Impact Fellow at the IoPPN, and BRC research champion, added, 'An extraordinary piece of public art, Head Above Water's powerful use of colour reminds us that mental health comes in many guises, and can be a story of hope, not despair.'

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. I want anybody and everybody to relate to it, to open a door perhaps.’

Steuart Padwick, artist and designer, Dr Sally Marlow and Juan Ferrari of Hoare Lea will be discussing the project on Friday 21 September at 17.00. Book tickets via:

Follow @hawLDN on Twitter and @headabovewaterlondon on Instagram #HeadAboveWaterLondon for the latest news and visit:


For further media information please contact: Robin Bisson, Senior Press Officer, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, / +44 20 7848 5377 / +44 7718 697176.