Page last updated at 08:59 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 09:59 UK

Plinth art project draws to close

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Is it art? David Sillito looks back at the highlights - plinth footage courtesy Sky Arts

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.

Gormley said he felt "huge pride" about the project, but was also "incredibly sad" that it had come to an end.

The first "living statue" was housewife Rachel Wardell, who took her place on the plinth on Monday 6 July.

The last, medical photographer Emma Burns, from Darlington, stepped down from the plinth just after 0900 BST.

The 30-year-old dedicated her time to the football fans who were fatally injured in a crush during the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough Stadium in 1989.

She read out a short story about each of the 96 victims, then released a balloon in their honour.

Antony Gormley
Antony Gormley said he is "incredibly sad" it is ending

It lasted a little over the allotted hour but, as there was no-one to take her place, she was allowed to stay on the plinth to finish the recital.

When asked how he felt about the project coming to an end, Gormley said: "I've got very mixed emotions - huge pride that we've actually succeeded.

HAVE YOUR SAY
My experience on the fourth plinth reinforced my belief that life isn't about work, it's about having fun
Darren Cooper, London

"We made this monument out of 2,400 abstracted hours from real lives.

"Another part of me feels incredibly sad because this has become part of London life and I've never been able to cross the city without making a detour and see who's on it. It's become compulsive viewing."

'Mixed reaction'

Participants for the project were chosen at random by a computer from tens of thousands of entries.

Gormley said at the weekend he had achieved his goal of challenging perceptions of what constituted art.

"If it wasn't disturbing to people, it wouldn't be doing its job," he said.

"If it isn't contentious and doesn't get a mixed reaction, it's totally failing."

However, the crowds who turned out for the final morning of the project were positive.

"I've seen about 200 different people on the plinth," said Jay, from London.

"It's brought loads of people together and everybody's got to know one other and everybody's had a good time"

"I walk past the plinth twice a day every day," added Nadia.

"It brings a smile to my face every time".



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