Local artist shortlisted for Trafalgar Square plinth

'The End' sculpture by Heather Phillipson. Trina John-Charles

‘The End’ sculpture by Heather Phillipson. pic Trina John-Charles

Hackney artist shortlisted for Trafalgar Square plinth

A giant blob of cream being trailed by a drone made by a Hackney artist, has been shortlisted to be displayed on the ‘fourth plinth’ in London’s Trafalgar Square.

The sculpture ‘THE END’ made by Heather Phillipson, was shortlisted from a list of 100 artists. Phillipson’s submission is the only one from the UK.

This year’s entries have come from around the globe, with proposals from India, Pakistan, Mexico and the US. Five sculptures have made the shortlist, two of which will be selected and displayed on the plinth during 2018 and 2020. All five sculptures are currently on display at The National Gallery until March 26.

‘THE END’ is described as “the cherry on the cream. And, on top of the cherry and the cream, the parasites”. One visitor told East London Lines: “It gets my vote. I like the interactive part… and everybody loves ice-cream.”

Phillipson works across video, sculpture, drawing, music, text and live events. She has exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery London, Toronto, New York and Sao Paolo and received the Film London Jarman Award last year. Her worksop is based in Hackney and she has been a Hackney resident for almost twenty years.

Heather Phillipsom. Rory Van Millingen for the New York Times

Speaking to East London Lines, the artist explained how Hackney has inspired her: “I first moved to Hackney in 1997. It’s changed a huge amount since then, but I still love nearly everything about it, the energy, multiplicity, styles and people. It’s my home. It’s inseparable from what I make and how I make it.”

A statement accompanying her artwork said: “THE END represents exuberance and unease. Topped with a giant, unstable load, the plinth becomes a monument to hubris and impending collapse. Seen through the eyes of a drone, which provides a live feed of Trafalgar Square to viewers’ devices, the surrounding architecture and its population are participants in a mis-scaled landscape, one that magnifies the banal, and our cohabitation with other life forms, to apocalyptic proportions.”

Whichever sculpture is chosen for the fourth plinth will replace ‘Really Good’, David Shrigley’s giant thumbs up, which is the 11th art piece to be displayed there.

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