Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth, one of Britain's most popular contemporary art display spaces, just received a new installation-- the largest ship in a bottle ever made.
Though it may look kitschy due to the fact that, well, it's a ship in a bottle, the ship itself is actually a fully to-scale (1/30) model of Nelson's ship Victory, which is the ship Nelson died on in the battle of Trafalgar. So perhaps it is equal parts monument and kitsch-- a fitting combination for a contemporary art piece.
Click through for the rest of the post and more images...
The opening of the bottle was large enough for artist Shinka Yonibare's studio assistants to climb inside to work on it...
Details of the original are faithfully replicated, from the paint colors to the 80 cannons, to the 37 sails, with 31 of the 37 sails set, just as they were on the day of the battle.
Even the same materials are used-- oak, rope, brass, canvas, etc. The only area in which the artist, who is British-Nigerian, has taken liberty are the sails, which he has printed with African batik patterns-- a tactic he regularly engages in his art to subvert Western icons.
See the full article in the Guardian here.