Mark Wallinger hopes life-size white horse unveiled on The Mall will 're-kick-start' momentum for its 50m sister

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger believes his new life-sized sculpture of a racehorse may “re-kick-start” funding for a 50 metre version in Kent, which is currently stuck in Limbo.

Wallinger unveiled The White Horse yesterday, and it will sit outside the British Council’s headquarters for two years before going on international tour.

The sculpture is smaller versions of his vision for The Ebbsfleet Landmark Project, dubbed the “angel of the south,” a horse as big as the Statue of Liberty. The costs are believed to be between £12m and £15m.

The artist won the pitch in 2008, but as the money dried up from its private backers in the wake of the financial crisis, the project stalled.

“We’re hopeful it will happen at some point,” Wallinger said yesterday. He was “also hopeful” that the smaller version could help attract the funding needed “by making something real and sculpturally satisfying. It is a large prod towards what the larger thing could look like”.

The planning permission for the 50m horse runs out in Ebbsfleet in April. The project is re-applying for permission with the case going before the council at the end of this month.

Wallinger is confident of renewing it; the first time round, the only objection was from a resident who complained the horse was not on its hind legs.

The White Horse, commissioned by the British Council Collection, was scanned from a real horse called Riviera Red and made from marble and resin. Wallinger said: “It’s wonderful to see it realised, it really is,” before adding: “This is a normal sized horse, imagine it enormous.”

The horse cost £50,000 for the purchase and £50,000 for the fabrication. “You can’t buy a racehorse for that,” Graham Sheffield, director of arts for the British Council, said.

Wallinger has a fascination with horses, and in researching the project studied work from the ancient depictions on hillsides, to work by George Stubbs. “There’s still an atavistic love of horses that people in Britain has, and historically they’re important as well.”

Fortunately, Wallinger’s latest creation will not be troubling supermarkets of Britain. When asked about the horsemeat scandal, he replied: “Well, my horse is inedible.”

He also called for a debate about public art. “I don’t think we’ve been as bold as previous generations. There is space and room and appetite for public art. Future generations may thank us for being a bit braver for what we give them.”

The British Council also announced yesterday it was to increase its investment in the arts from £21.5m to £28.5m to demonstrate its belief “that the arts contribute vitally to the development of society”.

The council had built up surpluses through its English teaching and exams work and decided to invest some in the arts.

Mr Sheffield said: “All of us here believe in the fundamental power and influence of the arts,” adding he saw an “increased opportunity.”

The director continued: “The sector is doing heroic work at keeping the show on the road. People are being very imaginative in their deployment of funds, deployment of arts and their work in education and all the other things required from the arts.”

Some organisations are clearly struggling, he said: “But there has been a bold response on the whole.”

Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May

film

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

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

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'