Tuesday 25th August will see Antony Gormleys living artwork, One & Other inviting people from all over the UK to occupy the empty Fourth Plinth in Londons Trafalgar Square reach the halfway mark. Now the countdown begins to the final draw for spaces. Would-be plinthers have until August 31st to apply for the remaining 321 spaces
Commissioned by the Mayor of London and produced in partnership with Sky Arts, One & Other has seen a different person take their place on the Fourth Plinth every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days without a break. By 9 am on Tuesday 25th August, 1,200 people from all over the UK will have participated in this unique piece of art: ranging in age from 16 to 83, they have travelled from as far afield as Derry in Northern Ireland and Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands to participate in the project. Activities on the plinth have included art installations, campaigning and fundraising, dancing, cycling, stripping, poetry reading, lecturing and computer chess.
Some of the personalities from the first 50 days of One & Other include:
These plinthers ensured that the crowds in the square had just as much fun as they did. From interactive performances; like the now infamous square dance; to throwing gifts and treats to the squares masses, the collaborators want the crowd to be part of their plinth moment.
Raising awareness for charities and causes has been a popular pastime for Plinthers. From the first plinther Rachel Wardell, who spent her time supporting the NSPCC to Oliver Parsons-Baker, who dressed up as a poo to highlight the importance of clean water, to Chris, who dressed as a giant pigeon in aid of Macmillan Cancer One & Other has drawn attention to a myriad of causes across the UK and the world.
One & Other has inspired some truly ingenious moments on the plinth. One of the peoples favourites was Gerald, who created a Godzilla costume complete with a miniature London, which he proceeded to demolish with aplomb, along with plinther number 746, Steve Cousins, who spent his hour trapped in a giant orange balloon. Alastair Humphreys painted his whole body to look like a cat, while artists, writers, sculptors and musicians have all been inspired by the plinth to bring their art to the square.
Some of the plinthers have taken Henry Davies words to heart and used their hour on the plinth to take time to just stand and stare. Whether it be reading, sitting, taking pictures, talking on the phone and even sleeping, the contemplative have seen their hour on the plinth as an opportunity to take time out of their normal lives, and relax.
All the plinths a stage and all the people on it were ready to perform. One & Other has seen some extraordinary extroverts: dancers, singers, strippers and shouters. From web favourite Ricky Hobson, who used the plinth as a dance floor, to Eric Page - the first person on the plinth to get naked, dressed only in a feathered headdress these plinthers have something to say and they want everyone to know about it
A full list of plinthers profiles, along with their hours on the plinth can be found on the One & Other website www.oneandother.co.uk
where all the action from the plinth is broadcast live and archived by Sky Arts. So far the website has received 4,619,999 hits, with 662,777 unique users who spend an average time of 09:57 browsing the site. The weekly show hosted by Clive Anderson live from the plinth, goes out every Friday at 7pm on Sky Arts 1/HD, and will recap on the best of One & Other so far on 28th July.
Artichoke, an Arts Council regularly funded organisation, best known for bringing The Sultans Elephant to London in 2006 and La Machine to Liverpool last year - is producing the event as part of the 2009 Sky Arts Artichoke Season, which will underline Skys ongoing commitment to the arts, on screen, online and on the streets.
The last participant will step off the plinth at 08:59 on 14 October 2009.