Sculpture of Brian Patten's head

Life size white sculpture of a man's head, wearing real sunglasses. The hair is made of thin curly strips of black paper with white writing on

Museum of Liverpool on the road

This plaster cast bust of local poet Brian Patten was part of the 'on the road' programme, which toured objects to different locations while the Museum of Liverpool was constructed. This sculpture is now in the Wondrous Place gallery.

Object: sculpture of Brian Patten's head

Accession number MMM.2003.273

A curator placing the sculpture in a display case in the window of the hairdresser's salon

Poet and performer Brian Patten first made his name in the 1960s as one of the Liverpool Poets, along with Adrian Henri and Roger McGough. Their aim was to make poetry accessible and to bring it to new audiences.

Nationally recognised sculptor Jilly Sutton made this half carved and half cast sculpture from Brian’s face, a process he did not enjoy! The distinctive hair is made from strips of black card with lines from Burning Genius, one of Brian’s poems, printed on them. Jilly chose this poem “as it had long lines – so the writing went the length of the curl”.

This unusual sculpture represents the role Brian played in Liverpool’s cultural explosion of the 1960s, and the impact this continues to have today.

Further information

Former location: Andrew Collinge salon

Castle Street, Liverpool

Andrew Collinge’s Castle Street salon hosted the unusual sculpture of Brian Patten - complete with his mop of his curly hair - from 2 to 30 October 2006. Andrew Collinge said:

"I'm proud to be a patron of National Museums Liverpool and am delighted to offer our flagship Castle Street salon as a venue for the On the Road project. Art has such an influence on our lives and hopefully in this small way we will exhibit the cast bust of local poet Brian Patten's unique work to a wider audience."

Further details about the Castle Street salon are available on the Andrew Collinge website.