11 Sep 2009

What would you do if you had your time on the Fourth Plinth?

One performed the Time Warp, another dreAdd Imagessed as a giant turd and one graduate even scored himself a job for his efforts. What do these people have in common? They have all had their one hour up on the Forth Plinth in Trafalgar Square.

Since 6 July 2009, every hour, 24 hours a day, people from across the UK have been performing, demonstrating or simply just, well, standing there. The brainchild of sculptor Anthony Gormley, One and Other has turned the usually empty Fourth Plinth into a living monument and ‘a representation of the whole of humanity’. While some critics have debated its merit as a work of art, One and Other has certainly captured the publics imagination with 500,000 people having watched the live web stream and countless newspaper column inches been dedicated to the project.

This Sunday 13 September between 10 and 11am, Caroline McCarthy will have her hour up on the Plinth. Caroline has Systemic Lupus (lupus), which is an autoimmune disease. Like me you might not have not heard of lupus (apparently it has very similar side affects to ME and MS), which is I guess the very reason why Caroline is using her time up on the plinth to create awareness around this debilitating condition.

Caroline is 23 years old. She was diagnosed with lupus when she was at university doing a drama degree. It was during a university lecture that she had a blood clot caused by a secondary condition triggered by lupus. Unfortunately she had to pull out of her degree while she recovered but did manage to graduate some years later. Today, Caroline runs a successful drama school in Birmingham.

Up on the plinth, Caroline will be using the aid of masks (Trestle masks, in fact) to convey the emotions and feelings that she and fellow sufferers of lupus regularly endure. The masks, she told me, would 'allow her to demonstrate in a very visual way what lupus does to a person'.

If you can’t get down to Trafalgar Square you can watch the live web stream or follow the Plinthwatch Twitter feed.

By Gemma

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