Home » London Attractions » THE END by Heather Phillipson on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square

THE END by Heather Phillipson on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

THE END, a new artwork by artist Heather Phillipson was unveiled on Thursday 30 July, on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

It is the 13th Fourth Plinth commission since the programme began in 1998, it is also the tallest to date, measuring 9.4m and weighing 9 tonnes, and follows on from The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz. Both artists were selected in 2017 by the Fourth Plinth Commission Group, following an exhibition at the National Gallery where 10,000 people voted for their favourite shortlisted artwork.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Heather Phillipson’s sculpture tops the Fourth Plinth with a giant swirl of whipped cream, a cherry, a fly and a drone that transmits a live feed of Trafalgar Square. The sculpture Entitled THE END illustrates Trafalgar Square as a site of celebration and protest, the live feed of Trafalgar Square picked up by the drone’s camera is visible on a dedicated website giving a sculpture’s eye perspective.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

Heather Phillipson was born in London, where she lives and works. Her works include video, sculpture, web projects, music, drawing and poetry.

© 2020 Visiting London Guide.com – Photograph by Alan Kean

THE END is the first fully accessible commission on the Fourth Plinth. There is a braille panel included on the plaque, a tactile image of the work, and an audio description of the work on the GLA’s website

The Fourth Plinth as it is known has quite an unusual history, it was intended to be used for a equestrian statue of William IV astride a bronze horse to match the statue of George IV which is on the other side of the square. However George IV spent so much money during his reign that there was not enough funds left for the statue.
Remarkably, considering the square is a major public area, the plinth was empty for more than 150 years. Eventually it was decided that temporary modern pieces of work would occupy the plinth. The final choice is often controversial but is a focus of interest which generates considerable media interest.

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