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Fourth plinth

1077 of 1157 nominations


Fourth plinth

Is this an icon?


Fourth plinth

Trafalgar Square, in the heart of London, is filled with statues of triumphant male military heroes, dominated by Admiral Nelson on his tall column. On 15 September 2005, a very different type of statue was unveiled on the square’s empty fourth plinth. The 3.55m high work, in white marble, depicts a naked, heavily pregnant, disabled woman. This is the artist Alison Lapper, born without arms and with shortened legs.

Artist Marc Quinn, who created the statue, felt that the square, in which even the bronze lions are male, needed a feminine element. His work is also a monument to a new kind of heroism. Quinn says, “In the past, heroes such as Nelson conquered the outside world. Now it seems to me they conquer their own circumstances and the prejudices of others.” Alison Lapper herself says of the statue, “It makes a powerful statement about where we are trying to go in the 21st century – a future with truly equal opportunities for all.”

The title of Quinn’s statue, to be displayed until April 2007, is Alison Lapper Pregnant – the pregnancy making the statue a hopeful symbol of the possibilities of the future.

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

Can I suggest the Trafalgar Square 4th Plinth/Alison Lapper statue?

Diane Henry Lepart

this statue should be an icon for all disabled people in this country. even after it comes down it should be placed somwhere that all will be able to see it and appreciate it.a lot of work went into the production of this great work.i for one will be sad to see it go.
gary evans

The Alison Lapper Pregnant sculpture on the fourth plinth is a wonderful and inspiring landmark. The city of London is a diverse, but at the same time inclusive community and this piece of art is symbolic of where we are and more importantly where we want to go. It was a brave and strong decision to choose Alison Lapper Pregnant for the fourth plinth, but surely a mark of its success is the amount of people who pass it and contemplate what it means for them.
Joe Docherty

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I think the National Gallery is part of the heritage of England