In Trafalgar Square Nelson is currently looking down at the bottled replica of his flagship HMS Victory from atop his column.
There are four large plinths in Trafalgar Square, three of them are occupied by George IV, Henry Havelock and Sir Charles Napier. The fourth plinth has been filled by a rotating list of new public art. Yinka Shonibare’s “Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle” currently fills this space.
This plinth in the northwest corner of the square has become one of the most public stages on contemporary art over the last decade. The next installation will be in place over the Olympics in 2012 and there are six pieces that have made the short list to become the next installation on the plinth and were on view in the crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields on the east side of the square last time I was here.
The winning piece is a large golden rocking horse called “Powerless Structures, Fig 101″ by Elmgreen and Dragset. The fourth plinth and what is being done with it really is a wonderful example of public art at it’s best.