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Giant fluorescent lion set to be pride of Trafalgar Square
Last Updated: 2018-08-10 15:14 | Xinhua
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The four giant bronze lions which have stood guard over Nelson's Column in London's iconic Trafalgar Square are to be joined by a huge fluorescent red lion, it was announced on Thursday.

The new addition to the pack of big beasts sitting quietly at the foot of the column guarding Nelson is part of a digital arts project for the launch of the London Design Festival, which will see the latest lion actually speak.

The new lion will roar poetry which will be created by members of the public.

Artist Es Devlin has dubbed the work Feed the Lion, and has said that anyone can put words in its mouth, and that this lion will only eat words, not people.

By daylight, the ever-evolving collective poem will be shown on LED embedded in the mouth of the new lion.

By night, the poem will be projection-mapped over the lion and onto Nelson's Column too, as a beacon of streaming text inviting others to join in and add their voice.

The project is supported by digital commissioning body The Space as part of its work to ensure the broadest access to the arts through digital technologies.

Devlin, who is known for her innovative projection-mapped sculptures that fuse light, music and technology, said she got the idea from a friend.

Her friend told her that the Edwin Landseer, the sculptor of the four lions currently in the square, originally wanted the lions to be far less passive than they ended up, but he was blocked by royalty.

"Landseer proposed a much more animated stance," said Devlin.

"But Queen Victoria found it too shocking. The thought lodged in my mind. What if we could invest the lion with a diversely crowd-sourced collective poetic voice?"

Ben Evans, London Design Festival director, said the lion would be "one of the highlights of the 2018 Festival" which begins on Sept. 18.

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