Page last updated at 16:39 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 17:39 UK

Life as a living statue

Fourth plinth

Antony Gormley's Fourth Plinth art project in London's Trafalgar Square has come to an end after 100 days and 2,400 participants.

During the "One And Other" project, a different person stood on the plinth every hour for 24 hours a day.

People who took to the plinth have been telling the BBC news website about their experiences as living statues.


Darren Cooper dancing on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, London. Filmed by Deji Ogundairo

When I told my friends that I'd been selected to stand on the plinth they said it was "very me". They're right of course; I'm very outgoing and I also love being a part of something.

I performed a silent disco for an hour. I got all my friends to send me their song requests and I downloaded them. Over 50 of my friends turned up. We all had headphones on and pressed play at the same time.

Darren Cooper
Darren Cooper on the fourth plinth. Picture: Deji Ogundairo

The first song was "I just want to dance" from the Jerry Springer Opera. The last song was "Boogie, Woogie Bugle Boy"! Other spectators didn't know what to make of us all dancing when they couldn't hear any music playing. It was so great seeing my friends offering them a headphone so that they could join in.

When I got off the plinth, 15 people came up to me and announced that they were my fan club. It just felt amazing. It was everything I expected and more. I was quite nervous at first but once I started dancing the nerves went away and I had the best time.

My experience on the fourth plinth reinforced my belief that life isn't about work, it's about having fun. You have to enjoy the chances you have in life. You really have to live your life.

Louise Barrett telling her story
Louise Barrett telling her story. Picture: Jim Barrett
Six years ago my son Ellis died. He was just four-days-old. The medical people said it was cot death.

Since then I've raised money and campaigned for research into the condition because I find it really hard to accept that babies "just die".

I wanted to go on the plinth to raise money for charity so I chose to stand there and talk about my son's death. I had my laptop and I took questions from around the world using social networking sites.

I've talked about it before but somehow spending an hour uninterrupted was really cathartic. Being so isolated up on the plinth made me really express myself. When I got home I was exhausted and emotionally drained.

I will never get over Ellis' death but every day I try to move on by helping others. I want to make sure nobody else has to go through it.

Martin Douglas in his R.N.L.I gear.
Martin Douglas in his RNLI gear. Picture: Vivian Bailey
I'm a member of the RNLI serving Loch Ness. I wanted to go on the plinth to represent all crew members. I stood there in my gear and really felt like a living statue.

I didn't want to perform because that's not really me but I wanted to stand there and represent the crew. We're under the radar and we just get on with things so I didn't think a song or a dance would reflect that. It was daunting at first just standing there. Some passers-by started heckling but soon they were asking questions and wanted to know more about what I do.

Martin Douglas stands on the fourth plinth
Martin Douglas standing on the fourth plinth. Picture: Vivian Bailey

It was strange up on the plinth. It was strangely voyeuristic watching people go about their daily lives. Not many people look up you know!

The other plinths are filled with military figures so I wasn't sure if I felt personally worthy to be up there alongside them. I know that the organisation I was representing was worthy.

Jane Clyne in her bee costume
Jane Clyne in her bee costume

I can't act, sing or play a musical instrument but I do feel passionately about the environment. So I chose to dress up as a bee to highlight the plight of their decline.

I found a bee costume on the internet. It was under "sexy fancy dress". Obviously I had to tone it down a bit. I swapped the g-string for a pair of sturdy leggings!

It was all very surreal. I felt a kind of heady tiredness because I'd arrived at the plinth at 0330 BST. It was still dark and there was only a handful of people watching the previous "plinther". It was only my second time in London so I was a bit overwhelmed.

I had prepared for the project by abseiling down the Firth of Forth rail bridge a few months previously so the height didn't bother me.

Rachel Lockwood on the plinth
Rachel Lockwood composing her plinth-inspired music. Picture: Miranda Dawkins
It was rush hour and there were lots of people in Trafalgar Square. They were all on a mission to get to work. It felt very peaceful and serene on the plinth looking down at everyone living their lives.

It wasn't as high as I feared which was a good job because I suffer with mild vertigo. I wanted to take part because it's new art and it's important to get involved. So I put my vertigo to one side and got up there.

I'm from the North East and I was 11 when Antony Gormley's Angel of the North went up. I can remember being at school and thinking how great it was. To be a part of his work now is incredible.

You don't notice Nelson's Column when you're on the plinth, it's a totally different view. All I could hear was the noise of the fountains and the traffic below. I felt like I was isolated and in a bubble. I felt like I was a small part of an amazing process.

I'm a composer and I wanted to use my experience to inspire a new piece of music.

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