Literary art created from unwanted law books goes on show at gallery

Re-imagining the Laws of England: A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A

Re-imagining the Laws of England: A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Artist, Linda Toigo. Pic: Rich J Matheson. - Credit: Rich J Matheson

A travelling exhibition is set to arrive in Suffolk today with a fresh take on one of the most important documents in history.

Re-imagining the Laws of England: A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A

Re-imagining the Laws of England: A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A piece by artist, Kate Kato. - Credit: Archant

Thompson’s Gallery will be hosting a celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in Aldeburgh until Sunday.

The exhibition, entitled Re-imagining the Laws of England, started life about after a set of Halsbury’s Statutes was handed to artist support charity, the Sidney Nolan Trust.

The 27 law books, donated by a court where staff now use an online reference, have been transformed into works of art exploring themes related to topics covered in each volume, as well as ideas around legislation and society.

The collection includes everything from indictments of human rights abuses to humorous takes on law, power and politics.

Re-imagining the Laws of England: A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. A

Re-imagining the Laws of England: A Book Arts celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Anne Rook's 'In King John's Land'. - Credit: Archant


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Anne Rook found inspiration from the flora and fauna found at the time of King John.

Jane Tudge’s illuminated garden shed is a metaphor for how a nation grows from the foundation of a set of published laws.

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Sharon Hall Shipp’s paper ribbons references the ‘red tape’ of bureaucracy.

Vivienne Sole’s tiny paper shoes each denote a different aspect of laws that affect children.

Linda Toigo cut the pages of her volume into human lungs, breathing in and out 800 years of history.

Mellie Lane’s piece depicts King John as a bird trapped in a cage by his barons.

Rachel Rickett’s Nine O’Clock Horse references folklore around bedtime rules.

The exhibition coincides with the 15th Aldeburgh Literary Festival.

Devi Singh, from Thompson’s Gallery, said: “It just made perfect sense to connect the celebrations with the Aldeburgh Literary Festival and hold a touring exhibition in our gallery.”

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