Public art will soon take on a literal meaning after London Mayor Boris Johnson announced an unusual new commission for the city’s Trafalgar Square.
Award-winning sculptor Antony Gormley’s concept One And Other was chosen as one of the next works for the landmark square, using up to 2,400 volunteers to occupy the “empty” fourth plinth around the clock for 100 consecutive days.
Mr Johnson chose the proposal and a second by Yinka Shonibare that pays homage to Britain’s most famous naval commander, Admiral Horatio Nelson, whose statue gazes down from the towering column which is the square’s historic centrepiece.
“It was obviously a tough decision,” Mr Johnson said after announcing the winners from a six-strong short list.
“All of the short-listed proposals had their own merits.
“But I am very excited about the prospect of real people standing on the plinth in one of the great public squares of the world.”
Shonibare, who was born in London but raised in Nigeria, will put a replica of Nelson’s flagship Victory in a giant glass bottle atop the plinth, with sails made from textiles bought from a street market in Brixton, south London.
“For me it’s a celebration of London’s immense ethnic wealth, giving expression to and honouring the many cultures and ethnicities that are still breathing precious wind into the sails of the UK,” he said.
Gormley said that putting people on a plinth made the human body a “metaphor, a symbol and allows us to reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in the contemporary society”.
Lawrence Argent: I See What You Mean
See the installation of this public art piece: http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/236/documents/DOCA_BigBlueBearQuickT.mov
Denver Office of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Program announces the installation of the much anticipated public artwork by Lawrence Argent entitled I See What You Mean, a 40-foot tall, blue bear, at the Colorado Convention Center.