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Samson Kamblau’s proposal for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square

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Samson Kambalu’s proposal for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square has been revealed.

Our current exhibiting artist Samson Kambalu is one of six artists shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth commission in Trafalgar Square in London.

A sculpture of two men, one much larger than the other, both wearing hats, standing on a plinth.

Samson Kambalu, Antelope – Ghost maquette for the Fourth Plinth, 2021

Visit our exhibition New Liberia to see a model of Antelope, the artist’s proposed sculpture for the Fourth Plinth, a sculptural restaging of an iconic 1914 photograph of Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley.

Revealed today by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, models of the six proposals for the Fourth Plinth commission have gone on display at the National Gallery and online. The public are encouraged to share their views and vote for their two favourites, which will be chosen and unveiled in 2022 and 2024.

A sculpture of two men, one much larger than the other, both wearing hats, standing on a plinth.Behind on a yellow wall is a black and white photograph showing a church with armed soldiers in front of it

Samson Kambalu, Antelope – Ghost maquette for the Fourth Plinth, 2021

Our Chief Curator Emma Ridgway writes: “Kambalu’s Antelope sculpture honours the Malawian hero of independence, John Chilembwe. In 1915, he led an uprising for independence and social justice – against colonial exploitation – for which he was killed and his large church torn down by colonial police. Here Chilembwe and his friend remain standing, and Kambalu imagines they are safely within an invisible antelope form of the great mother ancestor – the origin of all people.”

A sculpture of two men, one much larger than the other, both wearing hats, standing on a plinth. Behind on a red wall is a black and white photograph showing a building destroyed as a pile of rubble.

Samson Kambalu, Antelope – Ghost maquette for the Fourth Plinth, 2021

Kambalu’s proposal is described in Time Out London as: “Powerful. Daring choice to have a piece of figurative sculpture on the plinth.”

About the Fourth Plinth

The Fourth Plinth is one of the world’s most famous public art commissions. The northwest plinth in Trafalgar Square in London was originally intended to hold an equestrian statue of William IV, which was never realised. The plinth remained bare due to insufficient funds, and for over 150 years the fate of the plinth was debated. Since 1998 the plinth has displayed a rolling programme of temporary artworks chosen by a panel of artists, journalists and curators, and consultation with the public. Find out more and have your say on your favourite proposals here.