The Magistrates Association of the UK announced their plan to celebrate 100 years of serving the criminal justice strewn that Magistrates across the country deliver through their voluntary efforts. They were seeking 20 artists to creatively address a number of past, present and future themes.
1. Rights of the child. 2. Gender and the justice system. 3. The role of prison in society. 4. Ownership of information. 5. Race and criminal justice. 6. LGBT+ rights. 7. Freedom of expression 8. Freedom of association 9. Victims’ rights. 10. The concept of justice
I offered to respond to the Future focus on Race and Criminal Justice by making two portraits of representative Magistrates from the West Midlands Bench. Then came Covid! The day before Lockdown was announced I managed to make photo appointments with the two selected Magistrates:
Sue Marwa JP. A magistrate for 35 years having joined the Bench in 1984. “I was one of the first ‘ethnic faces’ at that time” and Carlton Williams JP. “At 26 I’m the youngest magistrate on the Family Panel.”
Although I prepared the drawings for silkscreen printing I could not gain access to printmaking facilities throughout March to July. The Curators announced that the planned physical exhibitions in Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham and London could not be touted during lockdown and an online digital exhibition would be organised to launch in September. In the potential case of no print access I developed a digital solution by photographing the drawings, converting to digital files and treating with colour and shade.
Portraits for the Future: Race and Criminal Justice theme. Digital interpretation.
Sue Marwa JP. A magistrate for 35 years having joined the Bench in 1984. “I was one of the first ‘ethnic faces’ at that time”.
Carlton Williams JP, West Midlands.
“At 26 I’m the youngest magistrate on the Family Panel.”