The brand new JCB Loadall 535-95 which can lift a maximum payload of 3.5 tonnes to 9.5 metres, was made at JCB’s World Headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire and is being used by the producers of the event throughout the 100 days, lifting each of the so-called ‘plinthers’ into position as the hour is struck by nearby Big Ben and lowering them back to the ground again an hour later once the new incumbent has stepped into position.
A JCB machine today gave a lift to one of the UK’s most inspirational art projects as a living monument was created in the shadow of one of London’s most famous landmarks.
Over the next 100 days, a total of 2400 ordinary people from across the UK will individually occupy the empty Fourth Plinth, in Trafalgar Square for an hour each through day and night. The plinth was built in 1841 and was originally intended for an equestrian statue but is now the location for specially commissioned works of art, the latest of which sees humans occupy it in an extraordinary artwork created by the celebrated sculptor Antony Gormley and entitled One & Other.
A JCB Loadall telescopic handler, more accustomed to carrying out lifting and loading duties on building sites and farms, swung into action in the shadow of Nelson’s Column and under the gaze of London Mayor Boris Johnson, to effortlessly lift the first of those ‘artworks’, housewife Rachel Wardell, of Lincolnshire, six and a half metres into the air, enabling her to take the small step to becoming the first human occupant of the plinth under the exciting project. She used her occupation to raise awareness of the NSPCC, which, by coincidence, is JCB’s nominated charity.
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All 2,400 participants for the Fourth Plinth project are chosen at random by a computer and can do anything they want on the plinth as long as it is legal. Applicants need to be 16 our over and living, or staying, in the UK. Applications will be accepted until 1 September when the last group of people is chosen. www.oneandother.co.uk