Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nelson's Ship In A Bottle & The Fourth Plinth

After the crowds of the Covent Garden markets, I found myself among the much larger crowds of Trafalgar  Square. At the northwest corner of the square is this interesting installation called Nelson's Ship in a Bottle on the Fourth Plinth.

Some explanation. A plinth is a square base or pedestal. At Trafalgar Square, the Fourth Plinth was designed in 1841 to display an equestrian statue which was never completed due to insufficient funds. In 1998, three sculptures were commissioned to be displayed temporarily on the plinth. With high interest to these sculptures from the public, the Mayor of London declared a commission to continue the tradition. So in 2005 began a display of some of the world's innovative artworks on the Fourth Plinth.

Nelson's Ship in a Bottle by Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare is the latest of these sculptures installed in May 2010 and will be displayed for 18 months. Pictured below is the plaque at the base on the plinth commemorating the work. Of recent works, this is probably the most befitting to sit in Trafalgar to complement the column displaying Lord Horatio Nelson's statue as centerpiece of the square.

Other works are already being considered as the next installation on the Fourth Plinth. Visit for more information on the sculptures in contention. Who knows what unusual sculpture will greet future visitors to Trafalgar Square?

Further exploration of Trafalgar Square will have to wait until tomorrow as my busy Saturday in London continues.


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