Thursday 29 September 2022 01:38 AM Sadiq snubs Queen: No statue of Elizabeth on Trafalgar Square fourth plinth ... trends now
A statue of the Queen on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square has been ruled out by Sadiq Khan for the foreseeable future.
Calls have been made in recent days for the plot, currently used for a different monument every two years, to have a permanent statue of Queen Elizabeth II.
However, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the plinth would continue to be used for temporary installations, as it has since 1999.
The latest occupant of the Trafalgar Square corner was unveiled yesterday - a statue of anti-colonialist John Chilembwe by artist Samson Kambalu entitled Antelope.
It restages a photograph from 1914 at the opening of Chilembwe's new church in Nyasaland - now Malawi - in which the preacher has his hat on next to missionary John Chorley, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people.
Chilembwe led a revolt against British in 1915 and was killed shortly after. His church, which had taken years to build, was destroyed by colonial police.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the plinth would be used for temporary exhibitions 'for the foreseeable future'
A larger-than-life sculpture of an anticolonial hero by artist Samson Kambalu (pictured) is the latest work of art unveiled on Trafalgar Square's famous fourth plinth
On the plinth, John Chilembwe is larger than life, while missionary John Chorley is life-size
The statue restages a photograph from 1914 at the opening of Chilembwe's new church in Nyasaland, now Malawi, in which the preacher has his hat on, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people
Kambalu, an associate professor of fine art at the University of Oxford, said he was 'glad' he could carry forth Chilembwe's message of fighting for a better world, adding: 'Many people may not know who John Chilembwe is. And that is the whole point.'
The artist said: 'Before the uprising he made a photograph with his friend, they were simply standing side by side wearing hats, and he distributed this photograph amongst his followers as a political stance to say 'We are equal to white people so I can wear a hat in front of a white person. Of course, he was killed months later, but his message lived on.'
Kambalu added that the title of Antelope alludes to the mask culture of the Chewa people, who reside in Malawi, and is a symbol of generosity.
'So he's not only proposing equality and injustice, but he's also proposing actually a radical economy right in the middle of the Empire,' he added.
Kambalu, 47, is a Malawi-born artist who is also a Fellow of Magdelen College at Oxford University and an associate professor at the Ruskin School of Art.
He graduated from the University of Malawi in 1999 before completing his MA in fine art at Nottingham Trent University and then going on to write a PhD at the Chelsea College of Art and