London

'Thumbs up' for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth artwork

Really Good
Image caption Really Good by David Shrigley is a 7m-high sculpture of a hand giving a thumbs up sign

The 11th artwork to sit on Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth has been unveiled.

Really Good by David Shrigley is a 7m-high sculpture of a hand giving a thumbs up sign, which the artist hopes will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It has been cast in bronze with the same dark patina as the other statues in Trafalgar Square.

The Fourth Plinth Programme invites world-class artists to make new works for the capital.

Addressing the crowd at the unveiling Mr Shrigley said it was a "real privilege" to make the work

Quiz: Test your thumb knowledge

"It's a work about making the world a better place... which obviously is a ridiculous proposition, but I think it's a good proposition," he said.

Image copyright James O Jenkins
Image caption David Shrigley's Really Good features a disproportionately long thumb

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the "positivity and humour" in Really Good "truly encapsulated the spirit of London".

"What it represents is so important - optimism, positivity, the best of us. This sculpture is so important showing Londoners…tourists…that London is open.

"The changing artworks on Fourth Plinth continue to be a source of delight, discussion and debate and I am proud to be the mayor of a city that has such an energetic and vibrant cultural life," he added.


David Shrigley

  • Born in 1968 in Macclesfield but now lives and works in Brighton
  • His work focuses on creating drawings, animations and sculptures that reflect the absurdity of contemporary society
  • He has had solo exhibitions at Auckland Arts Festival, New Zealand, Hayward Gallery in London and the Yerba Beuna Centre for the Arts in San Francisco
  • In 2013 he was nominated for the Turner Prize

Really Good replaces Gift Horse, a skeletal sculpture that displayed a live feed from the London Stock Exchange by German artist Hans Haacke.

Image copyright EPA

Mark Wallinger's figure Ecce Homo was the first piece to stand on the empty plinth - in the north-west corner of the square - in 1999.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mark Wallinger's figure Ecce Homo was the first piece to stand on the plinth in 1999

Other works included Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn (2005), Nelson's Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare (2010) and Elmgreen and Dragset's Powerless Structures, Fig 101 - a sculpture of a boy astride his rocking horse.

Image caption Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn featured in 2005
Image caption Nelson's Ship in a Bottle by Yinka Shonibare sailed above the square in 2010
Image copyright PA
Image caption Elmgreen and Dragset's Powerless Structures, Fig 101 from 2012

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites