To appreciate how and why the law may restrain your ability to freely express yourself as an artist, it is important to understand how and why your work might cause offence.

Of course, not all work that is offensive is going to trigger action against the artist for obscenity, blasphemy or inciting racial or religious hatred, because the tests applied will reflect the morals and concerns of the period in which the work is viewed.

What is clear, however, is that if there is an aggrieved party, action can be brought against you and the gallery showing your work, by the police, local authority or a private individual.  If you are therefore proposing to include work in a show which is likely to prove controversial, you should consider with the gallery whether you will be guilty of obscenity, blasphemy or racial or religious incitement.

Art and the law on trial

Does the public need protecting against art and artists? Recent serious and real events in Parliament and the Courts have raised this apparently whimsical and abstract question to public notice. The l… Continue Reading Art and the law on trial

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