The Fourth plinth; Written statement of Concept.
The final piece of four dolphins thrusting out from the plinth dolphins will provide a vibrant colourful addition to the plinth itself and enhance its immediate surroundings. The two southernmost facing Dolphins will spout fountains of water in a vast arc into the existing Admiral Beatty fountain in Trafalgar Square directly linking the new sculpture to Sir Charles Wheeler’s existing traditional dolphin sculptures in the fountain. The arc of the fountains will provide a visual link from eye level to encourage the public to look up to see the source of the fountains and will thus naturally draw attention to the sculpture itself on top of the Fourth Plinth.
The intention was for the forms of the dolphins to be sculpted out of plastic coated fencing mesh that would then be stuffed with blue plastic bags thus caging the plastic inside the body of the dolphin and providing a suitable texture to the outside of the sculpture. However, due to the possibility of the deterioration of the plastic bags during the lifetime of the sculpture and producing micro plastics, the plastic bags have been replaced with a resin substructure whilst retaining the plastic coated fencing mesh for its textural feel.
The resin substrate will be turquoise coloured, similar to the colour of oxidised sculpture around the city, allowing the sculpture to blend in to the cityscape while contrasting with the subtle warm yellow tones of the surrounding buildings allowing the sculpture to stand out and be noticed. The black wrapping of the sculpture will give a light linear feel when viewed against the background sky.
The original concept came about due to a concern for the environment and in particular the effects of microplastics on marine life. Micro plastics are small pieces of plastic less than 5mm in length that are ingested by marine life, whilst research is ongoing into the effect of microplastics on marine life it may be many years before the true effects are known.
The sculpture seeks to draw attention to the fact that the investigation into the problem is being carried out at the same time that we are causing the problem, and although attempts are being made to curb the problem, more radical action is required to prevent the escalation of the pollution of our environment by micro plastics.