Thursday, 3 November 2011

Disability and the Fourth Plinth

For some critics and spectators it was monstrous and offensive. For others it was disability represented as nobility and an echo of the mutilated classical 'statues' that tradition has admired. (See next blog on the Belvedere Torso described by Winkelmann in the eighteenth century.)

How the BBC reported the story on 19 September 2005

A statue of a naked, pregnant woman with no arms has been unveiled on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.  The 12ft (3.6m) marble sculpture, "Alison Lapper Pregnant", is already dividing opinion among art critics and disability campaigners. Artist Marc Quinn said he had sculpted his friend Ms Lapper because disabled people were under-represented in art. The Disability Rights Commission called it "powerful and arresting", but one critic dismissed it as "rather ugly". Ms Lapper, from Shoreham, West Sussex, sat for the artist when she was eight months pregnant.She has called it a "modern tribute to femininity, disability and motherhood". But she added: "It still daunts me now. I'm going to be up in Trafalgar Square. Little me."
Mr Quinn spent 10 months working on the statue in Italy from a single piece of white marble.

How The Sun reported the story

THE art world was in uproar last night after this statue of an armless pregnant woman was chosen for Trafalgar Square. The politically-correct image of disabled mum-to-be Alison Lapper will stand for a year on the Square’s empty fourth plinth, close to Nelson’s Column.
The statue’s creator, British artist Marc Quinn, 40, was “thrilled” when it was selected by a panel of experts.
But respected art critic Brian Sewell called it an “appalling”, adding: “I would rather there was no statue at all.”


Further Reading

A Mangled Torso Described

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