Those of you used to the oversized boat in a bottle outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square would have noticed it’s recent replacement. Those of you who aren’t, no matter, I have all the need to know gossip about the 4.1m bronze boy who has charged onto the plinth on horseback and claimed the prized position.
The sculpture of the child on a rocking horse has been brought to London by Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. The structure, which will remain on the plinth for one year ties in well with the surrounding military monuments. Powerless Structures, as the artists have named the boy and horse, has checked in to a year long stay aboard a space originally reserved for the architect Sir Charles Barry in 1841, most notable for rebuilding the Houses of Parliament. It is interesting that this years offering features a rocking horse as the original statue planned for the plinth was to be a bronze equestrian statue of King William IV, thus engaging with the original intention for the space.
Elmgreen and Dragset, who have been collaborators since 1995, are of Danish and Norwegian backgrounds and are based in London and Berlin. The artists often link together the concepts of architecture, art and design, which they certainly have done by placing a structure in such an iconic and heavily visited part of London. While I personally find it interesting that non British artists have been chosen to decorate the plinth during London’s Olympic year, the structure has a certain childish charm which cannot be faulted and compliments the history of London’s ever changing Fourth Plinth.