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Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth, London, United Kingdom

Tuesday 25 May 2010

HMS Victory returns to Trafalgar

Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom
James O Jenkins 
Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth by WAN Editorial in London, United Kingdom
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01/06/10 Jerome Morley Larson EAIA, Red Bank NJ USA
Wonderful concept! - if only the base were a thin slab of clear glass and the bottle was complete over it - with glass "water" to rest the model so that the entire ship is visible - and a glass cork as well - as if the bottle were open. The heavy hand of the wood with portholes detracts from the elegance of the concept - oh, and double or triple the size to fit the pedestal - other wise perfect!
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01/06/10 baxter, Corona
I am all for public art, especially those with out purpose. The two problems I have with this installation is that it will not withstand the riggers of the space. The least of which would be weather, birds and hooligans. The second is that the sculpture can not be viewed from below, unless there is nothing to see. Ok, three things. This sculpture has a purpose, to apologize for centuries of imperial oppression and the vast improvements in the lives of all of those who were able to migrate to London because of it. I would rather read that the artist and his work was chosen because was well liked mounted on the plinth.
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01/06/10 Joseph Galea, Malta
One good thing about this is that it can be easliy removed. I can't imagine what it would look like once the pigeons give it their 'blessings.' (Do pigeons still populate Trafalgar Square?)

Yinka Shonibare's 'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' unveiled for Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square 

Yesterday the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, unveiled the new commission for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, entitled 'Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle' by Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. Until 1999, the Fourth Plinth in the square was left empty bearing no statue or sculpture, however The Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group (a panel of artistic specialists) now monitor a programme of contemporary art commissions to fill the void at this popular tourist hotspot.

Shonibare’s 1:30 scale replica of the HMS Victory has been given a multicultural twist, as the 37 large sails have been designed using vibrantly patterned textiles, commonly associated with African dress and symbolic of African identity and independence. The artist explains: "London is such a diverse community, and art is a fantastic way to engage everyone regardless of race, class or gender. It is particularly great that this piece is an expression of Nelson's legacy, a legacy which has contributed to the diversity of this city." Today is Africa Unity Day (or African Liberation Day) so it seems fitting that Shonibare’s artwork encapsulates the importance of a hopeful and accepting multicultural society. The piece highlights elements of English and African national history, both intertwined with one another through British colonialism and its expansion of trade and Empire which was made possible through the freedom of the seas and new trade routes that Nelson’s victory provided.

Boris Johnson said: “The Fourth Plinth is about enigma and this will be a national conversation piece - people will ask what it says, is it pro-empire, is it anti-empire? This colourful and quirky take on our seafaring heritage provides a vivid contrast that intensifies the historic surroundings of Trafalgar Square.”

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
WAN Editorial

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