About the programme
Over the past seven years the ‘empty’ Fourth Plinth in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square has been home to some of the world’s most innovative artworks. The plinth was originally designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1841 to display an equestrian statue, however due to insufficient funds the statue was never completed. In 1998 – over one hundred and fifty years later – the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) commissioned three contemporary sculptures by Mark Wallinger, Bill Woodrow and Rachel Whiteread to be displayed temporarily on the plinth.
Following the enormous public interest generated by these commissions, the Mayor of London began the Fourth Plinth Programme to continue this tradition and build on its success. The Fourth Plinth has since featured works including Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), Thomas Schütte’s Model for a Hotel (2007) Antony Gormley’s popular One and Other (2009), Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle (2010) and the current commission Elmgreen & Dragset's 'Powerless Structures, Fig. 101' (2012). The choice of works is led by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group. This choice is in part informed by the comments that the public submit and in part informed by the views and opinions of the panel so make sure you have your say and tell us what you think...
The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group is a panel of specialist advisors appointed to guide and monitor the commissions for the plinth. Its members are:
- Iwona Blazwick – Director of Whitechapel Gallery
- Mick Brundle – Principal, Arup Associates
- Jeremy Deller – Artist
- Tamsin Dillon – Head of Art on the Underground, Transport for London
- Ekow Eshun – Writer, Broadcaster (Chair)
- Jo Baxendale - Relationship Manager, Visual Art, Arts Council England
- Grayson Perry – Artist
- Matthew Slotover - Co-director, Frieze
- Jon Snow – Broadcaster
- Justine Simons – Greater London Authority (Project Director)