New Fourth Plinth commission unveiled in Trafalgar Square


The new Fourth Plinth commission has been unveiled in Trafalgar Square, meaning all those staying in central London hotels will be able to go along to see it without too much of a problem.

Originally conceived in 1841 by Sir Charles Barry, the podium in the north-west corner of the square was originally to be home to an equestrian statue. However, due to financial reasons, it never came to fruition and the podium was left void of its purpose. 

It was then more than a century and a half before officials put their heads together and the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce came up with something to do with it. In 1998, the organisation commissioned three sculptures by Mark Wallinger, Bill Woodrow and Rachel Whiteread to take pride of place on the stand.

Following the enormous success of this, the mayor of London decided to inaugurate the Fourth Plinth programme, which has seen a great number of works occupy the space for a limited period of time, attracting thousands of visitors to the iconic square in the heart of the capital city.

Other artworks to have graced the plinth include Marc Quinn's Alison Lapper Pregnant in 2005, Antony Gormley's One and Other in 2009 and Yinka Shonibare's Nelson's Ship in a Bottle in 2010.

Since July 25th, it is now home to Hahn/Cock – an enormous ultramarine blue cockerel – by one of Germany's leading contemporary artists Katharina Fritsch. Standing at 4.72m high, it is certainly eye-catching set against the more traditional backdrop of the square.

The panel that decides which commissions are undertaken for the plinth includes broadcaster Jon Snow, director of Whitechapel Gallery Iwona Blazwich, head of art on the underground for Transport for London Tamsin Dillon, and writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun, who chairs the panel.