Giant white horse to greet visitors to the south of England

  • Visitors to the south of England will soon be greeted by a 164ft white horse.

    The horse, dubbed the “Angel of the South”, will cost £2m to construct and is part of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project.

    At 33 times the size of a real horse, the sculpture will be one of the biggest artworks in the UK, standing as high as the Statue of Liberty.

    Designed by former Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger, the horse was selected from a short list of three ideas this morning (10 February).

    The next step is for the project organisers to seek planning permission from Gravesham Borough Council, which could take about a year.

    Overlooking the A2 and Ebbsfleet International train station in Kent the horse will stand twice as tall as the Angel of the North — a sculpture by Antony Gormley that overlooks the A1 in Gateshead.

    Mark Wallinger’s horse design fought off tough competition from Daniel Buren, Richard Deacon, Christopher Le Brun and Rachel Whiteread.

    Mr Wallinger said: “This is a tremendously exciting project. There was some very tough competition and I am honoured that the horse has won through.

    “I and the team very much look forward to working with Gravesham Borough Council as the planning process progresses.”

    The Ebbsfleet Landmark Project commission was announced in May 2007. It’s aim was to attract an artist with an international reputation to create a largescale piece of art to stand in Springhead Park and provide a high profile marker for the Ebbsfleet Valley and the whole of North Kent.

    Ebbsfleet Landmark Project expect over 60million people will see the sculpture each year.

    To date, the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project has been funded by the Eurostar; Land Securities; and London & Continental Railways, collectively committing in excess of £1m. The selection panel was made up of representatives from these organisations as well as several specialist art advisors.

    Victoria Pomery, director of the Turner Contemporary in Margate and chair of the Ebbsfleet Landmark Project selection panel, said: “Our decision was made on artistic merit and Mark’s outstanding response to the brief. I am confident it is the right one.

    “Mark is a superb artist of world renown and his sculpture will become a real landmark for Ebbsfleet and the whole region.”

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