Two artworks chosen for exhibition in Trafalgar Sq., London


LONDON (AP) – A sculpture symbolizing Britain’s complex colonial ties and a work of art featuring the faces of 850 transgender people are on display in Trafalgar Square, one of London’s most prestigious public art venues.

City officials announced on Monday the next two works to occupy the “fourth pedestal,” a large stone pedestal in central London Square.

From 2022 to 2024, the “antelope” by Malawi-born artist Samson Kambalu will be exhibited on the pedestal, a sculpture by Pan-African leader John Chilembwe alongside European missionary John Chorley. Based on a 1914 photo, it shows Chilembwe as the much larger figure who “reveals the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa and beyond,” the town hall said.

“850 Improntas (850 Imprint)” by the Mexican artist Teresa Margolles with casts of the faces of transgender people from all over the world will be installed in 2024 Form of a Tzompantli, a skull frame from Mesoamerican civilizations “of today’s Central America and Mexico.

Trafalgar Square, one of London’s major tourist attractions and protest venues, was named after Admiral Horatio Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish fleets in 1805. A statue of the one-armed admiral stands on Nelson’s Column in the center of the square, and statues of other 19th-century military leaders are nearby.

The fourth base was erected in 1841 for a never completed equestrian statue and has been occupied with a number of works of art for around 18 months since 1999.

The current resident is Heather Phillipson’s sculpture “The End” – a huge whipped cream swirl with a cherry, a fly and a drone. It is to remain on display until September 2022.