The Fourth Plinth Project: Quinn's proposal
Alison Lapper pregnant
Graduated from Cambridge in 1986.
His work addresses ideas of mortality and survival.
The sculpture is a portrait of Alison Lapper when she was 8½ months pregnant. It is to be carved out of one block of white marble and would stand 4.7 metres high.
At first glance it would seem that there are few if any public sculptures of people with disabilities. However, a closer look reveals that Trafalgar Square is one of the few public spaces where one exists: Nelson on top of his column has lost an arm. I think that Alison's portrait reactivates this dormant aspect of Trafalgar Square. Most public sculpture, especially in the Trafalgar Square and Whitehall areas, is triumphant male statuary. Nelson's Column is the epitome of a phallic male monument and I felt that the square needed some femininity, linking with Boudicca near the Houses of Parliament. Alison's statue could represent a new model of female heroism.
In the past, heroes such as Nelson conquered the outside world. Now it seems to me they conquer their own circumstances and the prejudices of others, and I believe that Alison's portrait will symbolise this.
I'm not physically disabled myself but from working with disabled sitters I realised how hidden different bodies are in public life and media. Her pregnancy also makes this a monument to the possibilities of the future.