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Message in a bottle…

June 9, 2010

image by richard and gill

…and that message says, love me Brittany, I’m an out of scale piece of artwork! Need some background info? Ahh yes, well Trafalgar Square is a bit like New York’s Times Square (not in the sense of neon lights and moving adverts thats more Picadilly Circus)…but in the sense that if something big is happening like New Years Eve, an Olympic bid or an impromptu synchronized dance coordinated on the internet–yes they happen, the crowds are likely to mass in Trafalgar Square. Sitting in front of the National Gallery the square contains a giant column with a 13 foot Horatio Nelson atop, a pride of giant lions, fountains and four plinths. Three of these plinths have been occupied for years with traditional sculpture and the 4th plinth, well it’s original piece of art never came to fruition and so a few years back someone had the clever idea to create a rotating exhibition out of it. I love it and stop everytime there is something new to cast my judgement to…and with the British public you can sure there is controversy.  Anyway…I was quite keen on the last traditional bronze sculpture after a spate of modern pieces but I am absolutely in love with the latest piece, a GIANT ship in a bottle-the largest ship in a bottle to ever have been made in fact!

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

The ship inside is a giant replica (37 sails and 80 cannons giant) of Horatio Nelson’s ship and created by artist Yinka Shonibare. The attention to detail is spectacular, even down to the sailcloths being created from traditional sail canvas before being hand printed and hand sewn. The bottle is 5 x 2.8 metres just large enough for studio workers to be able to climb in and out and work (Did you notice the guy wearing a yellow shirt laying in the neck of the bottle?) !! Ahhh, miniature and ginormous in one place, my obsession was inevitable. As you can tell by my ginormous post of every picture I could get my hands on…I apologize, really…but seriously, people inside a glass bottle?! A weight of 4 tons !? A giant cork and sealing wax! C’mon!

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Left image thanks to Anthony Falla . Right Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian

thanks to Anthony Falla

image by richard and gill

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

thanks to falling angel

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2010 11:45 am

    GORGEOUS! This is amazing! I wish I lived in London and could go check this out in person! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Clare permalink
    June 9, 2010 2:10 pm

    This is so awesome and creative!!

  3. June 9, 2010 2:28 pm

    i’m in awe! the cork and seal get me too! wish i could see this in person!!

  4. June 9, 2010 2:47 pm

    Thanks for posting on this; so clever! I adore all things having to do with ‘the Fourth Plinth’. Last year’s ‘One&Other’ had me mesmerized. From 6,000 km away!

  5. June 9, 2010 4:14 pm

    this is way cool. thanks for sharing all these photos!

  6. September 5, 2010 11:36 pm

    Oh this was great to see in person. And he’s a fellow Nigerian! Neat-er!!!


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