Samson Kambalu wins Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth

We are excited to announce that artist Samson Kambalu will be one of two new commissions for Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth.

Samson Kambalu, who has a major solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford (22 May – 5 September 2021) presents the powerful new sculpture, Antelope for the commission. Antelope restages a 1914 photograph of the Baptist preacher and pan-Africanist John Chilembwe and European missionary John Chorley. Currently on display as a maquette at Modern Art Oxford, the sculpture for Trafalgar Square features Chilembwe with his hat on, defying the colonial rule that forbade Africans from wearing hats in front of white people. Significantly, Chilembwe is larger than life on the plinth while Chorley is life-size, an elevation of Chilembwe and his story which reveals the hidden narratives of underrepresented peoples in the history of the British Empire in Africa and beyond.

Image depicts the cast of two statues of different height on a plinth

Image credit: Mark Blower


The second winning commission is by Teresa Margolles and features the faces of 850 trans people from London and around the world. Margolles works closely with this marginalised community that sometimes is unable to access social care. The faces, or ‘life masks’ will be arranged round the plinth in the form of a Tzompantli, a skull rack from Mesoamerican civilisations (an area covering Central Mexico to northern Costa Rica).


Original article publicised on the Modern Art Oxford webpage.


You can find out more about Samson Kambalu's Humanities Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at TORCH here.