This interview collection commissioned by the Wellcome Trust documents the participants who formed part of Antony Gormley's One & Other project. Anthony Gormley's live artwork was commissioned by the Mayor of London: the project was conceived as a portrait of the U.K. using Trafalgar Square and the Fourth Plinth as an instrument through which 2400 individuals drawn from all regions of the U.K. from 6 July to 14 October 2009, were invited to represent themselves by occupying the plinth for an hour each in whatever way they liked.
The final cohort of "plinthers" is a sample representing a cross-section of the national population according to its demographic distribution. Their testimonies explore each participant's unique life experiences and aspirations, about their choices of self-representation and their motivation for standing on the plinth, their current wellbeing and their hopes and fears for the future. The perceptions and reflections of the interviewers have also been captured.
The initial research was guided by a panel of academic advisers led by Joanna Bornat - Professor of Oral History, The Open University and Brian Hurwitz - Professor of Medicine and the Arts, King's College London and convened by Wellcome Trust staff - Ken Arnold and Clare Matterson. Verusca Calabria, freelance Oral Historian, was commissioned to manage the collection of the oral histories.
The interviews were scripted to reflect the Wellcome Trust interest in the medical humanities with the central aim of inquiring into individual experiences of their wellbeing, hopes, fears and aspirations as well as the reasons for choosing to stand on the plinth. A consent form was devised to gain copyright from the participants to create a long term permanent public resource for use in research, education, public display, publication, broadcasting and the internet using a Creative Commons licence.
The project manager, Verusca Calabria, provided the oral history interview training to five main interviewers. Due to the rolling 24/7 nature of the project, it was not possible to gather the team together again, hence subsequent coaching and support was provided individually during their working shifts and via email. Another group of six interviewers were trained in August to provide stand by replacements.