Are you an artist? Do you want to contribute to a community exhibition on access to justice?
Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC) is a not-for-profit provider of legal advice to residents of Greater Manchester. We give advice and representation in the areas of welfare benefits, housing and employment law, but we also campaign for people’s rights and freedoms and access to justice for everyone – not just those with the money to pay for it.
10 years ago, the government made changes to Legal Aid that cut lots of areas of law out of ‘scope’ for free legal advice, and limited who was eligible to receive it. This has had a devastating effect on people’s access to legal representation, and caused a lot of providers of free advice to close down, meaning there are whole areas where no legal advice is available in crucial areas such as housing, employment and family law.
To shine a light on the real effects of a lack of access to justice in people’s lives, GMLC is putting on an exhibition showcasing stories from the last 10 years of (in)justice. We will share people’s narratives and raise awareness of the human impact of failures in provision of Legal Aid and advice, arguing for a transformation in the justice system to ensure everyone – no matter their personal circumstances or background – can enforce their rights.
We are commissioning 10 pieces of art to capture injustice in the legal system, for which we can offer a paid commission, and would need the pieces by the first week of November 2023.
In particular, the narratives we have collected contain the following themes you might want to respond to:
- Barriers, walls
- Mazes, labyrinths
- Miscommunication, obscure legal language
- (Other people’s) playgrounds
- Inequality of arms, underdogs
- Darkness, loneliness
- Winding journeys
- Relief at finding support
We are open to multimedia works such as small sculptures, paintings, collages or graphic design. We would be happy to exhibit existing works or commission new ones. The pieces are likely to be exhibited in office/meeting room-type spaces and ideally would be transportable to a new venue if we choose to exhibit in different locations. The audience will include community groups, grassroots activists groups, clients of the Law Centre and legal professionals. We hope to include these art works in a pamphlet that will last beyond the end of the exhibition.
If you are interested, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to provide a more specific brief or take pitches for ideas. Please outline what sort of art work you were looking to produce, and how you hope for it to relate to the theme.
Image credit: Terence Faircloth, ‘Justice For All’, Flickr, 2023