A sculpture depicting a whirl of cream topped with parasites has been unveiled in London’s Trafalgar Square.
The installation on the Fourth Plinth – home to a rolling commission of public artworks – was postponed by four months because of the impact of coronavirus.
But the “dystopian” artwork – topped with a cherry, a drone and a fly – has now been unveiled.
People will be able to use their phones to livestream what the camera-equipped drone can see or people can log in to a website remotely.
Described as representing “exuberance and unease” and a “monument to hubris and impending collapse”, The End, by British artist Heather Phillipson, will stay in place until spring 2022.
The 13th Fourth Plinth commission is the tallest so far – at nearly 31ft.
It replaces artist Michael Rakowitz’s recreation of a protective deity destroyed by Islamic State in Iraq.
Ekow Eshun, chairman of the Fourth Plinth commissioning group, described the new work as “audacious and beguiling”.
The Fourth Plinth commissions have seen many memorable works over the years, including Marc Quinn’s sculpture of pregnant Alison Lapper, and Yinka Shonibare’s scaled-down replica of HMS Victory, contained in a glass bottle.
The artist said she felt “mixed emotions” about the unveiling.
Heather Phillipson added the sculpture was not necessarily meant to be “pessimistic” but was also “hopeful” and signalled a “chance of radical change”.
But she added: