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West End Extra - The XTRA DIARY
Published: 19 June 2009
Heather Pringle, who will celebrate her birthday on the plinthHeather Pringle, who will celebrate her birthday on the plinth
Gormley’s gang to get more than 15 minutes

A MAN who wants to pedal his pink folding bicycle, a woman dressed in a catsuit and a naked glass blower – these are some of the publicity seekers who will pose on Trafalgar Square’s empty fourth plinth next month.
Sculptor Antony Gormley’s project was flooded with 10,000 applications in its first week and now the first 615 participants have been chosen. They come from far and wide, with Norfolk, Coleraine in Northern Ireland and Paisley in Scotland all represented. Each will get an hour on the plinth when the live installation begins on Monday, July 6.
Among the more bizarre requests is one from 27-year-old Scottish glass artist Rachel Elliott. She said: “I’m planning on making some glass beads with my blowtorch, and, as a former model, I’d like to perform naked.”
And then there’s nursery teacher Helen Thomas, 31, from Hampshire, who plans to dress up as a cat and read nursery rhymes.
Diary suspects controversy is around the corner!
l Antony Gormley’s One & Other Fourth Plinth project is commissioned by the Mayor of London and produced in partnership with Sky Arts.  

Life cycle: Naked ride for safety

THE fewer the seams, the more pleasant the cycle, so wisdom has it.
Cyclists are normally a sweaty lot, in the summer months particularly, and must have been relieved to cast aside their clothes (Lycra or otherwise) beneath the sweltering sun on Saturday to take to the streets of the West End on pushbikes, tandems and unicycles – wearing just their birthday suits.
The London Naked Bike ride, an unusual annual protest to draw attention to the vulnerability of cyclists on London’s roads, had many shoppers on Oxford Street reaching in amazement for their camera phones. 
More than 1,000 riders, some decorated with body paint, took part in the event, which coincided with the start of Bike Week. 

Artistic secrets to be laid bare on television

Naked bodies on daytime television – whatever next?
Before you pick up the phone to Ofcom, rest assured: it’s all in the name of art.
Nude models will pose for viewers at home in a series of life art classes on Channel 4. The idea being that viewers pick up a pencil, and, guided by presenter-cum-tutor, have a stab at drawing the human form in all its glory.
And as a precursor to the July series, people in Soho and Covent Garden are being invited to do it for real.
Art group Artangel will hold drop-in classes at the House of St Barnabas in Soho on June 23 and 30 and at the London Graphic Centre in Covent Garden on June 24 and July 1. Visit www.artangel.org.uk

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