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.

The Jurors is commissioned by Surrey County Council and National Trust and produced by Situations.

Funded by Surrey County Council, one of the largest local authorities in the country – with a budget of circa £1billion it provides a range of services to over 1.1 million residents including Highways and Transport, Adult Social Care, Childrens and Young People / Education, Fire and Community Services. It has supported the Magna Carta 800th anniversary in order to raise awareness of the national and  international significance of the Magna Carta and to attract more visitors to the Runnymede area to the benefit of the local community.

Loaned to and maintained by the National Trusta charity that works to preserve and protect historic places and spaces — for ever, for everyone. The trust owns many heritage properties, including historic houses and gardens, industrial monuments and social history sites. It is one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom, owning many beauty spots, most of which are open to the public free of charge. It is the largest membership organisation in the United Kingdom, and one of the largest UK charities by both income and assets.

Trust New Art is the National Trust’s programme of contemporary arts inspired by our places. National Trust has been working with living artists  since the 1980s, and in 2009 created Trust New Art through a partnership with Arts Council England. The programme makes contemporary arts available in National Trust properties; builds new and diverse audiences; and offers new opportunities to artists to work in new contexts.

Produced by Situations, an arts organisation (funded by Arts Council England) which is dedicated to commissioning and producing progressive new forms of public art. For over a decade they have been supporting artists to make extraordinary ideas happen in unusual and surprising places, directly engaging in people’s lives and enriching their experience of our environment. Situations believes that artists are charismatic agents of change. They invest in their process, challenge established studio or theatre-based artists to step into the public realm and nurture emerging artistic, producing and writing talent.

Production credits
Panels and embellishments modelled by Complete Fabrication and Arteffects.
Bronze casting by Meltdowns, Ramsgate.
Installation of artwork by Artful Logistics.
Videography for website films by Tom Morgan.
Additional video courtesy of National Trust.
Performance dedication film by Lighttrap Films.
Photography by Max McClure.

With thanks to Indra Khanna for all her work on this project including research and writing texts for the stories about the work, used on this website, Paul Bonaventura and Dea Vanagan and Hales Gallery.


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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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Designed & Built by Fiasco Design

© Surrey County Council & Hew Locke 2015