'Angel of the South' to be giant white horse

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

A giant white horse was announced today as a new £2 million public art commission in south-east England dubbed the "Angel of the South".

The winning design, by former Turner Prize winner Mark Wallinger, was selected from a three-strong shortlist as part of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project.

His design will see a horse standing on all four hooves at 33 times life-size.

Once built, the artwork will dominate the north Kent landscape, standing as high as Nelson's Column at around 164ft (50m).

Today's announcement was made at Swan Valley Community School in Swanscombe in Kent, which overlooks the Springhead Park area where the giant statue will be built.

The sculpture will be seen by up to 60 million people per year and will be more than twice as tall as Antony Gormley's 66ft (20m) high Angel Of The North sculpture in Gateshead in 1998.

Wallinger said: "This is a tremendously exciting project. There was some very tough competition and I am honoured that the horse has won through."

The other two shortlisted designs included a steel latticework "nest" by Richard Deacon and a tower of stacked cubes by Daniel Buren.

Project leaders hope the work will act as a symbol for the new Ebbsfleet Valley development and Ebbsfleet International railway station.

The next stage is to start the planning process with the local authority, Gravesham Borough Council, which is expected to last at least 12 months.

Wallinger said: "I and the team very much look forward to working with Gravesham Borough Council as the planning process progresses."

Planners aim to transform the area with up to 10,000 new homes, offices, shops and community facilities across a 400-acre site.

More than 50,000 people commented on the design proposals during a public exhibition last year at the Bluewater Shopping Centre near Dartford.

The board of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project endorsed the decision of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project Selection Panel after considering the comments.

Victoria Pomery, chair of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project Selection Panel, said: "Our decision was made on artistic merit and Mark's outstanding response to the brief. I am confident it is the right one.

"Mark is a superb artist of world renown and his sculpture will become a real landmark for Ebbsfleet and the whole region."

More than £1 million has been raised to date by the project's founding patrons - Eurostar, Land Securities and London & Continental Railways.

Speaking on behalf of the patrons, Stephen Jordan, chair of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project Board, said: "In spite of the current recession, this project remains important for the 25-year task of building sustainable communities in the Ebbsfleet Valley and strong economic development around Ebbsfleet International station.

"All involved are committed to design excellence and Mark's stunning concept reflects that aim.

"Now we can focus the further technical development and other practical studies on just one design as we find out what the planners make of it."

Ben Ruse, of London & Continental Railways, said it was "impossible" to predict a completion date after being questioned on whether it will be finished by the 2012 Olympics in London.

He said: "The important thing for us is that, now we have got the design, we will not compromise and it's not something we will lumber the Kent countryside with."

Born in Chigwell, Essex, in 1959, Wallinger studied at the Chelsea School of Art and at Goldsmiths College, where he also later taught.

He exhibited throughout the 1980s and in 1993 was included in the Young British Artists II exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery.

He was also one of the artists featured in the Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1997.

In 1998 he was awarded the Henry Moore Fellowship at the British School in Rome and in 2000 a retrospective of his work, Credo, was exhibited at Tate Liverpool.

In 2007, he won the Turner Prize for his painstaking recreation in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain of Brian Haw's protest display outside Parliament at Westminster.

Wallinger said his design was a "symbol that's spectacular".

Speaking of the significance of the site, he said: "This has been a route in and out of the country for millennia. As an incredibly ambitious project which is going to take 25 years, it's going to be nice for people to say 'I live by the white horse'.

"Most new towns are known more for roundabouts than sculptures. Lots of things came together quite quickly for me to decide on the white horse.

"Scale is everything and that will mean, I hope, that people will take it to their hearts. At the end of the day, it's just a horse in the field but it's a symbol that's spectacular."

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Arts and Entertainment
Could Ed Sheeran conquer the Seven Kingdoms? He could easily pass for a Greyjoy like Alfie Allen's character (right)

tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros

Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce, Boris Johnson, Putin, Nigel Farage, Russell Brand and Andy Murray all get the Spitting Image treatment from Newzoids
tvReview: The sketches need to be very short and very sharp as puppets are not intrinsically funny
Arts and Entertainment
Despite the controversy it caused, Mile Cyrus' 'Wrecking Ball' video won multiple awards
musicPoll reveals over 70% of the British public believe sexually explicit music videos should get ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister and Ian Beattie as Meryn Trant in the fifth season of Game of Thrones

Arts and Entertainment

book review
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders