The Jurors was commissioned to mark the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta at the historic site of Runnymede. The work was launched on Monday 15th June 2015, Surrey, where 800 years ago the feudal barons sealed the Magna Carta with King John.
Open seven days a week.
Twelve intricately worked bronze chairs stand together on this ancient meadow. Each chair incorporates symbols and imagery representing concepts of law and key moments in the struggle for freedom, rule of law and equal rights. The Jurors is not a memorial, but rather an artwork that aims to examine the changing and ongoing significance and influences of Magna Carta.
The chairs appear to be awaiting a gathering: an open invitation from the audience to sit and take a moment to reflect on the issues and histories depicted.
Each chair, front and back, has a main image embellished with flowers, keys and other symbols. To complete the work the artist has coloured and polished some areas, as well as adding slashes and gouges to the surfaces. The result is a rich layering of imagery, marks and textures waiting to be explored. You can find full details of each chair by visiting the National Trust site here.
The launch of the artwork was accompanied by a dedication written by Owen Sheers and performed by 12 performers. ‘Or In Any Other Way’ directly references the content of The Jurors and follows the form of Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol. On 15 June, each of the performers recite a stanza while approaching The Jurors. As they assembled at the artwork, the final stanza was recited by the group in unison before they took their seats, eventually joined by heir to the throne, HRH Prince William.
How the artwork was made
Location and accessibility
The Jurors is located at Runnymede, Windsor Road, near Old Windsor, Surrey, SL4 2JL (SatNav: TW20 0AE). Please visit National Trust for full details of how to get there. The site is open 7 days a week, night and day. The car park opening times can be found on the National Trust website.
The Jurors consists of twelve bronze cast chairs evenly spaced in a circle. There is level access to the site from the car park across grass which is wheelchair accessible. The work has a relief surface depicting information overlaid with decorative forms by the artist.
This was the first of two works we produced with the National Trust and Surrey County Council for Runnymede for Magna Carta 800. Mark Wallinger’s Writ in Water followed three years later.
Download the guide to The Jurors – a permanent public…View
The Jurors was commissioned by Surrey County Council and National Trust.