Campaigners want to recreate Trafalgar’s famous empty “fourth plinth” on Hove seafront.
Hove Civic Society is looking to build a £50,000 plinth on the promenade to showcase the best in public sculpture.
The ambitious plans would emulate the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, which has provided a temporary display of work for top artists including Anthony Gormley and Marc Quinn.
A design has been commissioned for the 2.5m tall structure from Brighton design company Millimetre, and a planning application should be submitted in January.
The plinth would be positioned in King’s Esplanade, Hove, across from the statue of Queen Victoria.
Organisers see the plinth as completing a half circle of statues stretching from the Old Steine along the seafront, including the “Doughnut” and the Peace Statue.
If planning permission is granted, the society will then begin a fundraising campaign which will include seeking funding through corporate fundraising, arts charities and funds, as well as reviving the Victorian tradition of public subscription art.
The plinth is designed as a showcase for contemporary artwork and would include the technology for light, sound and digital displays.
Leading arts and heritage organisations in the city including Brighton Museum, Brighton Festival and the West Pier Trust have been sounded out on the plans and organisers say they have responded enthusiastically.
Society member Karin Janzon said: “We see the plinth as creating a focal point for public sculpture.
“We see this as a first step but what we would really like to see is the plinth inspiring more public sculpture throughout the city at other sites as well and put Hove on the map as a place for amazing public sculpture.
“It’s a very prominent, pedestrian access site and the area between the Peace Statue and the King Alfred has been identified in the council’s draft seafront strategy as an opportunity for improvement.
“We very much want to revive the Victorian tradition of public art by subscription by using the modern day equivalent of crowd-funding.”
Talking point: What do you think of the idea? Whose statue would you like to see on the plinth? Share your views by commenting below or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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