Visit London Blog » fourth plinth Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:38:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What’s On This Weekend. 26-28 July 2013 Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:11:47 +0000

Remember this time last year when London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games? Well, the city is no less spectacular one year later – read on to find out why.

Open East Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Marking the one-year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Games, this festival of street food, local brewing, international music, theatre and family fun is sure to get you back in the party spirit. Foodies can not only browse stands from local food producers and watch top chefs demonstrate their skills in the Real Food Chef Theatre, but also enjoy a locally brewed beer at the Ten Mile Beer Festival, which features ales from Battersea, Hackney and Greenwich. Meanwhile the music stages will feature a huge range of international acts, while leading artists, circus performers, BMX riders and theatrical performers will astound audiences with performances all over the park. Don’t miss Sacrilege, the life-sized bouncy castle version of Stonehenge by Jeremy Deller! Tickets are £9.50 for adults. 27-28 Jul

Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park

Celebrate the first anniversary of the London 2012 Games with three days of world-class althletics. The first two days will see Olympic champions, including Usain Bolt, return to the stadium for the British Athletics Grand Prix, while Sunday is reserved for 2012’s Paralympic stars. Tickets start from £43. 26-28 Jul

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

What better year to visit the iconic Buckingham Palace than 2013, the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s coronation? You’ll see The Queen’s Coronation 1953 exhibition, as well as priceless historic items from the Royal Collection, including clothing, jewellery, art, sculpture and furniture. Tickets are £19 for adults. Until 29 Sep

The New Fourth Plinth Sculpture, Trafalgar Square

Unveiled this Thursday, the Hahn / Cock sculpture by artist Katharina Fritsch will be an unmistakeable addition to Trafalgar Square. The renowned German artist’s 15ft high blue chicken will replace the current sculpture of a boy on a rocking horse, which has been in place on the fourth plinth for a year. Commissioned by the Mayor of London as part of the UK’s most high profile contemporary art prize, the sculpture will remain in place for 18 months – check it out and let us know what you think in the comments!

Grey Goose Edible Art Class

From lickable life drawing to edible painting-by-numbers, this expert class will guide you through an introduction to art and edible expression using all the senses. Master the art of chocolate model-making or try your hand at edible life drawing, and indulge your creative side in a night of sensory fun with specially created Grey Goose cocktails. Visit the website for ticket prices and more details. 27 Jul

More London events

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What’s On This Weekend: 7-9 December 2012 Mon, 03 Dec 2012 10:40:23 +0000 Give your tastebuds a workout in London this weekend, as both Taste of Christmas and the Chocolate Festival are open to tempt you with delicious food. Elsewhere, you can feast your eyes on the incredible spectacle of the British Military Tournament, learn about Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth or have a giggle at a pantomime.

Taste of Christmas at Excel London

Make this year’s Christmas dinner extra special by stocking up on tips, recipe ideas and special ingredients at this festive food fair. Taste of Christmas not only features demonstrations from top UK chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Michel Roux Jnr, but there are also lots of tempting stalls at which you can buy ingredients, find unique gifts or simply enjoy seasonal dishes from top London restaurants. Book tickets. 7-9 Dec 

Fourth Plinth: Contemporary Monument, at the ICA

Standing in the northwest corner of Trafalgar Square, the Fourth Plinth was originally intended to hold an equestrian statue but lay bare for more than 150 years. Since 1999, however, the space has played host to  temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, which have been delighting and baffling London in equal measure. A new free exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts explores the recent artistic history of  the plinth, as well as reactions to it. Until 20 Jan

Chocolate Festival at the Southbank Centre

Put down that giant tin of Quality Street and head over to the Southbank Centre for a taste of what you can really do with a cocoa bean. Not only can you sample your way through endless chocolatey delights, but top chocolatiers such as Paul A. Young and Damian Allsop will be on hand to show you how their tempting confections are made. Entry is free. 7-9 Dec

The British Military Tournament 2012

See incredible displays of military skill and precision at this spectacular annual event in Earl’s Court. Not only does the British Military Tournament highlight the accomplishments and dedication of Britain’s armed forces, but it also raises money for charities that support the military family. This year’s event celebrates The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and features hundreds of troops, horses and vehicles participating an astonishing variety of re-enactments, competitions and displays – including the legenday Field Gun Run.  Visitors also have a chance to try their own skills in the Tournament Exhibition Area. Adult tickets start from £29.25. 8-9 Dec

Royal College of Art Christmas Fete

Christmas gifts don’t get any artier than this: the Royal College of Art in Kensington is hosting its first-ever Christmas fete, at which you can buy original items straight from the students that made them. Not only can visitors pick up gifts for prices as low as £2, but they will also have the opportunity to view the College’s 175th exhibition for free. The fete is open from 12pm every day. 6-9 Dec

Pantomimes, various venues

This weekend sees the opening of many pantomime shows in London. (Oh no it doesn’t! Oh yes it does…) From lavish productions featuring famous faces to smaller affairs just for grown-ups, there’s something to get everyone laughing, groaning and entering into the spirit of a quintessentially British silliness. For a full list of London pantomimes, see our guide.

More events in London

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Video: Fourth Plinth: Behind the Scenes with Elmgreen & Dragset at AB Fine Art Foundry Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:30:39 +0000

The Fourth Plinth on Trafalgar Square is welcoming a new piece of art on Thursday this week.

Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle is moving, and a new sculpture is taking its place.

Powerless Structures Fig 101 is the name of this new piece, by Scandanavian artists, Elmgreen & Dragset. It’s a bronze sculpture of a boy on a rocking horse. Here’s some details about the artwork, taken from the Fouth Plinth website:

In this portrayal of a boy astride his rocking horse, a child has been elevated to the status of a historical hero, though there is not yet a history to commemorate – only a future to hope for. Elmgreen & Dragset’s work proposes a paraphrase of a traditional war monument beyond a dualistic worldview predicated on either victory or defeat. Instead of acknowledging the heroism of the powerful, Powerless Structures, Fig. 101 celebrates the heroism of growing up. It is a visual statement celebrating expectation and change rather than glorifying the past.

This video is just a little teaser, as the young boy isn’t revealed until Thursday this week. Keep an eye out, we’ll bring you some photos when the time comes…


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Boy on Rocking Horse and Big Blue Cockerel Chosen for Fourth Plinth Fri, 14 Jan 2011 11:45:18 +0000 Elmgreen & Dragset's Powerless Structures 101 is the winner for 2012 Hahn / Cock is Katharina Fritsch's winning commission, for 2013 Artists Elmgreen and Dragset at this morning's unveiling Elmgreen and Dragset with Mayor Boris Johnson and Katharina Fritsch The Mayor and Katharina Fritsch share their views on the "big blue cock" Yinka Shonibare's Ship in a Bottle, which is currently on the Fourth Plinth

Boris Johnson announced the next two commissions for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square this morning.

Artists Elmgreen & Dragset and Katharina Fritsch are the winners for 2012 and 2013.

Elmgreen & Dragset’s Powerless Structures, Fig 101 is a bronze sculpture of a boy on a rocking horse.

This morning, the artists explained their sculpture is not about victory or defeat. “It’s about play, being part of a game. It’s maybe not about winning or losing. It’s easy for us to stand up here today and say it’s not all about winning, but… We wanted to put something among all the admirals and generals in Trafalgar Square that would perhaps be mocking, perhaps change people’s perspectives.”

The second winner announced this morning is Katharina Fritsch’s Hahn / Cock; a giant, surrealist cockerel in bright blue.

Katharina described her sculpture as a “wake up call” and seemed happy to allow different interpretations of her work from the Mayor and others. (Boris suggested it might have something to do with Tottenham Hotspur, before talking about the idea that this very French symbol will, at least, be looked down on by Nelson from the centre of the square.)

Here’s a rather hastily taken, wobbly video of this morning’s annoucement, where you can see / hear more from the Mayor:

So, what do you think? Are these worthy winners? Were there others in the shortlist (there’s a reminder here) that you would’ve preferred to see on the Fourth Plinth? Let us know in the comments below.

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Visit London Poll: Which Is Your Favourite Shortlisted Artwork for the Fourth Plinth? Thu, 19 Aug 2010 16:30:57 +0000 Allora & Calzadilla, Untitled (ATM/Organ), Elmgreen & Dragset, Powerless Structures, Fig.101 Katharina Fritsch, Hahn / Cock Brian Griffiths, Battenberg Hew Locke, Sikandar Mariele Neudecker, It’s Never Too Late And You Can’t Go Back

This morning, six proposals for the next Fourth Plinth commission were unveiled at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square.

The artists are Allora & Calzadilla; Elmgreen & Dragset; Katharina Fritsch; Brian Griffiths; Hew Locke; and Mariele Neudecker.

The decision will be made by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group later this year and the winning artwork will be announced by the Mayor of London early next year.

The winning artwork will be mounted on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

But which is your favourite? Vote in our poll and let us know which proposal you’d like to see on the Fourth Plinth after Yinka Shonibare’s Ship in A Bottle.

Our poll is just for fun, but if you’d like to submit your views about the artworks to the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group before they make their decision, you can comment at

[poll id=”14″]

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Shortlist Announced for Next Fourth Plinth Artwork Tue, 20 Jul 2010 17:02:06 +0000

Six artists have been shortlisted to produce the next artwork for Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth, replacing Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare.

The winner will have the chance to showcase their work during the London 2012 Olympic Games, when the eyes of the world will be on London.

The shortlisted artists are:

The winner will be announced early next year.

Shortlisted designs will be on display in the crypt of St Martin- in-the-Fields from 19 August to 31 October 2010.  Admission is free

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Yinka Shonibare’s Ship in a Bottle on Trafalgar Square Mon, 24 May 2010 10:43:12 +0000

Anglo-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare unveiled the fourth Fourth Plinth statue this morning in Trafalgar Square.

Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle is a scale replica of HMS Victory, with 37 sails made from African-style cloth.

The first Fourth Plinth commission by a black artist, the ship explores British colonialism and the expansion of the British Empire, which was made possible by Nelson’s victory.

“London is such a diverse community, and art is a fantastic way to engage everyone regardless of race, class or gender,” said Shonibare.

“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.”

Grinning, he refused to say how he got the ship into the bottle, leaving the crowd on Trafalgar Square to ponder the possibilities.

Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the new statue, joking, “What did Nelson have apart from the Nelson touch? He had a lot of bottle, and it has taken someone of Yinka’s imagination to show how much bottle Nelson had.”

Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle is on display in Trafalgar Square for 18 months from today.

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Visit London Asks: What’s Your Favourite London Statue? Mon, 06 Jul 2009 09:27:45 +0000 One & Other, Gormley's Fourth Plinth projectLast week, we asked you what your favourite London summer activities were. Thanks to everyone for getting in touch!

This morning, Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth human art exhibit, One & Other, kicked off with 35-year-old mum, Rachel Wardell, taking her place on the plinth.

Sadly, we’re still waiting to hear if we’ve been successful in our quest for a place here at VL. (Although our close friends at londonist are already planning what they’re going to do with their hour of fame.)

But we want to look beyond the excitement of London’s temporary headline-grabbing  human statues, and ask: what’s your favourite (permanent) statue in London?

Are you a fan of Nelson? (On the column in Trafalgar Square, or Mandela, by the Royal Festival Hall?)

Does the diver do it for you?

Perhaps the kid in you likes Peter Pan or Paddington.

Or perhaps you love Stockwell’s Bronze Woman, Edith Cavell at Charing Cross, or Putney local, Alan Thornhill’s nine gorgeous sculptures along the Thames walk. London’s certainly got no shortage of statues to amuse, delight, remind, inspire and admire.

Let us know what London statue, beyond the current fun on the Fourth Plinth, brings a smile to your face.

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