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An ice cream topped with a drone is on the Fourth Plinth shortlist

An ice cream topped with a drone is on the Fourth Plinth shortlist

A recreation of a protective deity destroyed by Islamic State and a sculpture of a scoop of ice cream topped with a drone have been shortlisted for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

The plinth is currently home to Really Good, a 23ft (7m) high hand, cast in bronze and giving a thumbs-up sign, which has divided opinion and has been dubbed phallic by some onlookers.

Organisers have now unveiled maquettes of the proposed works, which also include a white robe, to sit on the Fourth Plinth in 2018 and 2020.

One of the proposed sculptures, The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, by US artist Michael Rakowitz, is a recreation of Lamassu, a winged bull and protective deity which was destroyed by the IS terror group in Iraq in 2015.

Artist Michael Rakowitz with a model of his artwork The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist
Artist Michael Rakowitz with a model of his artwork The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Another work, The End, by British artist Heather Phillipson, is a sculpture of a scoop of ice cream, topped with a cherry, a drone and a fly.

The drone will remain static but passers-by will be able to use their mobile phones to live-stream what the camera-equipped drone can see.

Artist Heather Phillipson with her model of The End
Artist Heather Phillipson with her model of The End (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The works also include a figure, inspired by sci-fi films, by New York-based artist Huma Bhabha.

High Way, by Mexican artist Damian Ortega, is “a playful and precarious construction” of a truck, oil cans, scaffold and a ladder, while the Emperor’s Old Clothes, by Raqs Media Collective, features a robe.

Damian Ortega with his model of High Way
Damian Ortega with his model of High Way (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Some of the most memorable Fourth Plinth sculptures over the years have included Marc Quinn’s sculpture of Alison Lapper, who was born with no arms, Yinka Shonibare’s scaled-down replica of HMS Victory, contained in a glass bottle, and Katharina Fritsch’s blue fibreglass sculpture of a cockerel.

Antony Gormley created One & Other in which people – including a man who posed naked – took it in turns to spend an hour on the plinth.

Marc Quinn's sculpture of disabled Alison Lapper
Marc Quinn’s sculpture of Alison Lapper (John Stillwell/PA)

The Fourth Plinth is funded by the Mayor of London, with support from Arts Council England.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The variety of the exciting proposals unveiled today demonstrates the way in which artists react so differently to Trafalgar Square.

“I’m delighted to see that the shortlisted commissions are not just from the UK but from around the globe, a clear sign that London is open to creativity.”

Maquettes of the proposed works will be on display in the Annenberg Court of the National Gallery until March 26 and the two artists who have been selected by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group will also be announced that month.

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