Here Are the 7 Artists Shortlisted for London’s Fourth Plinth

Proposals range from a giant black cat to a sweet potato island.

Tschabalala Self. Photo: Madeleine Hunt-Ehrlich.

Tschabalala Self, Thomas J. Price, and Ruth Ewan are among the seven artists shortlisted for the next commissions to grace the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, considered one of the U.K.’s most important platforms for contemporary works.

Models of the artists’ proposals have gone on display at the National Gallery and online, which the public have been encouraged to comment and vote on. Two winners will be selected from the list next month, and the resulting commissions will go on display in 2026 and 2028. The other artists in the running are Chila Burman, Gabriel Chaile, Veronica Ryan, and Andra Ursuta.

Tschabalala Self is an American artist known for her depictions of Black female figures using paint, fabric, and castoff pieces of her previous works. Her Lady in Blue, a dark bronze and lapis-lazuli blue sculpture of a woman, “pays homage to a young, metropolitan woman of color who could be just one of many Londoners today” according to her project statement.

Tschabalala Self, Lady in Blue (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins.

The British sculptor Thomas J. Price gained recognition for his bronzes of everyday people. His plinth proposal features a giant golden bronze head depicting a fictional woman whose features have been taken from a wide range of historic sources which, according to his project statement, creates “a collective community portrait.”

The title of Ruth Ewan’s Believe in Discontent is taken from words spoken by suffragist Charlotte Despard, who would often address crowds in Trafalgar Square. The Scottish artist, whose work often centers around social movements and the history of protests, is proposing a large black cat for the plinth. It is a nod to how Suffragists were often portrayed as cats in the media; the word “catty” is still used as a derogatory term towards women today.

Veronica Ryan, a Montserrat-born British sculptor who won the Turner Prize in 2022, has submitted a piece called Sweet Potatoes and Yams are Not the Same, representing a “sweet potato island” with growing vine leaves. The proposal aims to highlight how a humble plant, which has its origins in Peru, became an internationally grown staple. “Food, famine, and economic power structures define our interwoven histories over time, and space,” according to the artist’s project statement.

Chila Burman’s piece, The Smile You Send Returns To You, depicts her father’s ice cream van, The Rocket. The van has been a recurring motif in the artist’s work for the last 40 years, serving as “a metaphor for a childhood memory belonging to the broader economic, political, and social history of migration from India to Britain,” according to the artist’s statement.

Chila Kumari Singh Burman, The Smile You Send Returns To You (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins

Featuring a hollow, life-sized person on a horse covered in a shroud and cast in a slime-green resin, the Romanian artist Andra Ursuţa’s work is said to embody various histories of public sculpture at a time when there is increasing debate about the use of public space.

Gabriel Chaile’s practice explores the communities, rituals, and artistic customs of his native Argentina. His plinth proposal, Hornero, depicts the unique nest of the Rufous Hornero bird, a national emblem of Argentina. The bird is known for building homes on high surfaces such as light poles and monuments.

This year marks 25 years since the first artwork was unveiled on the empty plinth; 14 different sculptures having stood in the central London square since then. Samson Kambalu’s Antelope, a bronze resin sculpture that depicts the Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley, currently sits atop the platform. A sculpture featuring plaster casts of hundreds of faces of trans people, called 850 Improntas (850 Imprints) by Teresa Margolles, will be the next sculpture to be unveiled in September.

The competition is funded by the mayor of London with support from Arts Council England and Bloomberg Philanthropies. The winners are picked by the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, partly based on feedback from the public.

See more images of the shortlisted works below.


Ruth Ewan, Believe in Discontent (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins.

Thomas J. Price, Ancient Feelings (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins.


Veronica Ryan, Sweet Potatoes and Yams are Not the Same (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins.


Andra Ursuța, Untitled (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins.

Gabriel Chaile, Hornero (2024). Photo: James O. Jenkins.

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