Opinion

Here's what we should do with Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth

Readers share their artful ideas and aesthetic appreciation

Monument by Rachel Whiteread

Monument by Rachel Whiteread stood on the plinth in 2001. Image: Sion Touhig/Getty Images

As a former Fourth Plinther (on Antony Gormley’s One and Other), I feel John Bird has missed an obvious solution to who the Trafalgar Square plinth should best honour. The answer is hidden in plain sight, in his own words. The homeless. He highlights Rachel Whitehead’s concern that most exhibits fail to find a home post-plinth. Art is making a subtle point. If the fourth plinth became a permanent tribute to London’s homeless, perhaps in time society will ensure that homelessness becomes as remote to tomorrow’s generations as generals and kings are to ours.

Nicola Swanborough, Fourth Plinth, 7-8am, August 29, 2009

I think John Bird’s art recommendations are brilliant! I have had mobility problems for a while so have not able to get to London exhibitions, but I bought the poster from the Helen Frankenthaler exhibition in London. So, loving the photo in The Big Issue and your write up about the painter Giorgio Morandi, and I can buy the book from the Estorick Collection. Hurrah!

Re: poverty and the class system, I don’t think it’s just capitalism that is the only problem. More profit could be made if the abilities of the whole population were fostered, but they are not. It’s also feudal because the other, and possibly more important, aim is to protect privilege. If you have the power and/or money mostly you will try to promote the interests of your children or other relatives over others via private schools etc. So they get the ‘good jobs’. It’s pernicious.

Sue Vallance

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