Monday 22 October 2018

Sculptures installed on TV studio roof in suicide prevention campaign

The 84 statues represent the men who take their own lives every week.

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

A new art installation representing the men who take their own lives each week in the UK has been revealed on the roof of This Morning’s London studios.

The sculptures of 84 men, made by American artist Mark Jenkins and his collaborator, Sandra Fernandez, represent those who commit suicide each week, according to the male suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm).

The sculptures were created during a series of workshops with the support of family members and friends of men who have taken their own lives, and made using Jenkins’ signature tape casting technique.

The 84 statues surround the roof of the This Morning studios and ITV’s headquarters on London’s South Bank and are part of a campaign by Calm to start a conversation about male suicide in a bid for improved suicide prevention and bereavement support.

This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield said: “Here at This Morning we never shy away from stories that can be difficult to talk about – and without doubt one of the most heart-breaking is losing a loved one to suicide.”

His co-host, Holly Willoughby, said: “That is why today we are unveiling 84 life-sized sculptures – each representing a real man who has taken his own life – in the hope that it will stop people in their tracks, make them pay attention and get them talking.”

Simon Gunning, chief executive of Calm, said: “Achieving our goal of male suicide prevention requires everybody to take a stand, and we’re thrilled that This Morning is taking a stand with us.

“Calm has been campaigning and providing support services for 11 years but, try as we might, it isn’t enough to tackle the enormous problem of male suicide.

“Project 84 is all about making the scale of the situation very clear to everyone who sees the sculptures, and we hope that, by working with the families and friends of real men who have taken their lives, we can face the enormous issue of suicide together and strive for change.”

Press Association

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