Trafalgar Square Plinth
On Saturday 29th August 2009 between 8pm and 9pm I took part in Anthony Gormley's One And Other project for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.
I had a great time and managed to make a painting of the view across the square in my hour which I sold to raise funds for my local art centre Under The Edge Arts which is run as a charity and is facing cuts in funding from the district council. www.utea.org.uk
I prepared very carefully for my hour as it presented me with difficult technical challenges. I am used to making precise observations of tone and colour as I work but between 8pm and 9pm the light completely faded from the sky, I started out in daylight and finished in darkness, the street lights came on and floodlights in Trafalgar Square's fountains changed colour every few minutes. Anticipating these technical issues I made three paintings in my hometown at dusk to try to get to grips with the changing light.
When I got to Trafalgar square I had some confidence that I could deal with the technical challenges. I have never worked so quickly or under such pressure. The event itself combined many of the things I most value: painting, communication, family, friends and community. I feel very privileged to have been given the opportunity to take part. The whole project was recorded, for copyright reasons I cannot show the recording of my hour here but email if interested and I can send a link.
Below is the oil painting which is 50cm x 60cm. The painting was open to bids for exactly one week from my time on the plinth. At the close of bidding at 9pm on Saturday 5th September the highest bid was £600 which has been donated to Under The Edge Arts.