An artwork by Hew Locke for Runnymede, Surrey, UK to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. Commissioned by Surrey County Council and National Trust.

Where is the artwork? The Jurors is in the meadows near the National Trust tea room and car park at Runnymede. It is not difficult to find and there are site maps at Runnymede to guide you. Read the visitor information here.

Is the artwork accessible to visitors with disabilities? There is relatively level access across the mown meadows. The work is highly tactile and includes braille. We encourage all visitors to touch the work. There is a large print version  of the leaflet available at the National Trust tea room or you can download the leaflet here.

Story 6
Sandra Gayer, who is blind, explores the chair dedicated to the 1920 march for the blind in support of the Blind Persons Act.

Can I sit on the chairs? Yes, please do. Hew Locke has designed this artwork as a meeting place – not just something to look at.

Why is this artwork here? The Jurors was commissioned by Surrey County Council and National Trust to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. Runnymede meadows is the site where Magna Carta was sealed, at a meeting between King John and 25 barons on 15th June 1215.

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How was Hew Locke selected? National Trust and Surrey County Council looked at a range of artists and proposals for artworks. Hew Locke was selected for his track record of making extraordinary work and his proposal for an artwork that explores the international connections of this place and Magna Carta. Read more about Hew Locke

Who was involved in making this artwork? As with any bronze artwork, the process of making the work involves many people and different processes. As well as Hew’s work in his studio, he worked with modellers to create many of the panels and then with a foundry to cast and assemble the artwork. The foundry he used is Meltdowns in Ramsgate. The work was produced by the arts organisation, Situations. Watch a video about the making of this artwork.

Can I bring my school group to visit? Yes please do. The artwork is free to look at and National Trust welcome all school visits. There’s more information about bringing a school group and you can also contact National Trust to book a wildlife tour with one of their rangers.

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Is the artwork secure? Yes, very secure. Although it looks like the chairs have been placed straight on the grass, there is a very substantial underground structure holding all the chairs in place.

How long will it be here? The Jurors has been designed as a permanent artwork. It may move to another location within the Runnymede meadows but is expected to be here for many years to come.

Who owns the artwork? Surrey County Council own the artwork and it is on loan to National Trust.

Can I take photographs? Yes, please do. We would also like to encourage you to share your images and experiences on social media using the hashtag #thejurors.

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Where else can I see Hew Locke’s work? The artist’s works can be viewed in collections at Tate  and his work is frequently shown in exhibitions in the UK and elsewhere. See Hew Locke’s website for latest details of where his work is on display.

 


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The xiezhi is a legendary creature and symbol of justice and law in Chinese mythology that can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (from 206 BCE). An inherently just beast, the xiezhi will point its horn at the wrong party in a fight or argument. Xiezhi is shown on The Jurors surrounded by scratches and gouges, as though made by its sharp claws.

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The house in Yangon, Burma, where politician Aung San Suu Kyi was held under house arrest for 15 out of 21 years until her release in 2010, despite her political party having fairly won government elections in Burma.

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In 1781, 133 slaves were thrown overboard from this ship, Zong. The owners made an insurance claim for the loss of their human cargo and the resulting legal case caused public outcry. On the sails, the west African symbol Epa represents captivity, law and justice.

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Ancient Egyptian scales are topped with the head of Ma'at, the goddess of truth, justice and balance. A dead person's heart is weighed against a feather to see if the owner is worthy to enter paradise. Ma'at's symbolism is still apparent in the western personification of Lady Justice.

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This hollow boab tree in Australia was adapted in the 1890s by police as a temporary prison for aboriginal prisoners. Hew Locke has added additional graffiti to its surface, each date and name referring to the ever-developing history of aboriginal Australians, their land and human rights.

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Chinese script that describes the Confucian principles of Ren (humaneness), Li (ritual) and Yi (justice) at the core of Confucian ideas of how a society should be organised, developed in the Han Dynasty (from 206 BCE).

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A boat carrying refugees inscribed with the names of sea vessels connected to legal cases which marked changes to maritime law, the responsibilities of nations towards refugees, and maritime search and rescue protocols.

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The Golden Rule states you should treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. Versions of this concept are found in all major world religions and philosophies and the phrase is expressed on The Jurors in 14 different languages.

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“The Disappeared” – a collective name for those who been taken away, at the behest of a state or political organisation, across the world. Displays, such as this, erected by protesting relatives play an important role in sustaining a visible reminder that the Disappeared fates go unanswered and are a crime against humanity.

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Two representations of freedom of speech: in public and online. In 2014, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, called for an online Magna Carta to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide.

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The keys found on some of the seats represent prison keys, and include the key to Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island, and one of the keys to The Bastille which was sent to George Washington in 1790.

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Nelson Mandela's prison cell where he served 18 years of his life-sentence for sabotage and conspiracy to overthrow the state. He was released in 1990 after 27 years incarceration.

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The destruction or redaction of evidence is a world-wide activity undertaken by states wishing to hide incriminating documentation of their activities. In 1989 the East German secret police's shredding of files was halted by German citizens taking over the Stasi offices.

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A loudhailer belonging to Harvey Milk, gay rights campaigner and first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California from 1977-78. Before his assassination, Milk sponsored a significant civil rights bill that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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A portable charkha, or hand spinning wheel for cotton, designed by Mahatma Gandhi and used in the 1930s as a political symbol of resistance to British imported goods and British rule.

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A combination of images depicting the Emancipation of the Serfs (1861) by Tsar Alexander II. Serfdom was the feudal system that tied Russian peasants irrevocably to their landlords. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Moscow was to have commemorated the event, but it was never finished due to the Russian Revolution of 1917.

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Poet Phillis Wheatley was the first published African-American woman (1773), and Mary Prince was the first woman to present an anti-slavery petition to the British parliament (1828) and the first black woman to write and publish an autobiography (1831), at a time at which it was claimed that slaves were not capable of such writing.

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An ermine (a stoat in its winter coat) and its heraldic representation can be found on a number of chairs. The pure white fur of the ermine, a symbol of incorruptibility, is used in judicial gowns.

An Amerindian headdress, forest and a river clustered with gold nuggets. Indigenous land claims have been addressed, with varying degrees of success on a national and international level, since colonization. Such claims may be based upon the principles of international law, treaties, common law, or domestic constitutions or legislation.

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In 1920, marches of blind trade unionists from across the UK converged on Trafalgar Square under the banner "Justice not Charity" in support of the Blind Persons Act, which became law later that year and established disability rights as a fundamental principle in British society.

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Cornelia Sorabji was the first woman to practice law in India. She became a legal advocate for women in purdah in India, whose religious and cultural beliefs prevented them from speaking to men outside their family.

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A section from Clause 39 of an edition of Magna Carta stating that no one is to be imprisoned without "lawful judgement of his peers", the fundamental principle of trial by jury in common legal systems across the world.

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Oscar Wilde's poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol describes the brutalising effect of the prison system, written in 1898 whilst in exile in France and based on his observations when incarcerated for homosexual offences in 1895.

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© Surrey County Council & Hew Locke 2015