I have Alan Mann to thank for learning that the Fourth Plinth Competition was won by Anthony Gormley's 'The One and The Other' and Yinka Shonibare's 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle'. On 22 March 2008 I blogged about the competition. I'd voted for Gormley's entry and said that if he won I'd be up for an hour on the plinth. Well it looks as if I may get my wish. Apparently the process by which the 2,400+ 'human statues' will be chosen is being finalised. I'll be keeping my ear to the ground.
There was a challenge to the revolving programme of modern art in the form of a campaign to put a statue of RAF hero Sir Keith Park in Trafalgar Square. It had the backing of the new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. However it appears that a compromise has now been reached by which Sir Keith Park's statue will temporarily occupy the plinth in 2010, the 70th anniversary of the Batle of Britian, before being moved to another permanent location nearby.
I've nothing personal against Sir Keith Park but there are enough statues of men in Trafalgar Square already (the other three being George IV, Henry Havelock and Sir Charles James Napier) and two of them were generals. It's time to do something new, something that looks to the future, rather than harking back to the past, something that challenges our preconceptions and encourages us to look at the world from a different angle.
Anyway Gormley's entry won't be on display until 2009. I'll let you know when to look out for me!