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.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Radio 4's Today programme host Evan Davis has been announced as the new face of Newsnight

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams performing on the Main Stage at the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park, north London

music
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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.

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn