Trafalgar Square – not just a tourist attraction.
Trafalgar Square is one of the main tourist destinations in London and because of this I think that many Londoners give it a miss. Back in 2009, this was remedied with the One & Other project, a live artwork by Antony Gormley where different randomly selected people spent one hour on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square over a period of 100 days – varying from people dressing as Godzilla to teaching Swing Dancing to the public in Trafalgar Square. Although this is long gone, they continue to use the fourth plinth for contemporary artwork – currently it is ’Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’, which, as the name suggests, is a replica of Nelson’s ship the HMS Victory in a bottle. It will be replaced by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s ‘Powerless Structures, Fig. 101’ in 2012.
It is important to remember that two of London’s best galleries are by Trafalgar Square. On the north side of the square is the National Gallery, and just off of the square (in the same building complex as the National Gallery) is the National Portrait Gallery – both well worth a visit!