Knick Knacks - A Proposal for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth

MD FP Prop.pdf


Knick Knacks - A Proposal for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth


Knick Knacks is Matthew Darbyshire proposal for the Fourth Plinth public art program in Trafalgar Square, London. The concept builds on an image designed by the artist himself as a christmas card for "The Guardian" newspaper and wants to transform the monumental sculptural base in a shelf that refers to a domestic space. Here Darbyshire presents eight sculptures in coloured polyurethane foam, reproductions of household objects in a different scale. The eight opaque elements would be 3D scanned and modeled from the original objects, CNC routed in polyurethane foam and then laminated in fibre-glass before being chromed, sprayed and flocked. The single clear element would be modeled in much the same way but then cast in clear tinted resin.
This installation is a reflection on two feelings which are deeply contemporary, "emptiness"  and "nostalgia", and in particular a nostalgia that is expressed through reproductions of objects than - in respect to the original ones  - try to mask some of the values that were in present and that remain somewhat hidden below the reproductions’ surface: “From the pop to the patriotic and the colonial to the kitsch”. A composition which could be read on different levels and which presents different layers, which could appear simply ironic but actually refers to some unsettling aspects of the British national identity through "a sort of ‘seduction and repulsion’ mechanism with its critique buried safely beneath the surface
The project was not selected for the commission.
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Darbyshire, Matthew




Scotti, Marco






Still Image

Rights Holder

Matthew Darbyshire
MoRE Museum



Darbyshire, Matthew, “Knick Knacks - A Proposal for Trafalgar Square's Fourth Plinth,” MoRE, accessed April 22, 2021,

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