An artist whose model guns are currently on display at Worksop’s Harley Gallery has denied glamourising gun violence amidst criticism from parents and anti-firearms campaigners.
David Turner, who often uses Lego bricks and other children’s toys to make art with a serious message, says that “if anything, the installation is a commentary or warning”.
He expressed surprise at the recent outrage from parents and anti-firearms groups such as the Gun Control Network. “The installation has never received any negative attention until it reached Nottingham.”
Inspired by a childhood in 1970s Troubles-era Belfast, Mr Turner said all the artwork does is “reconstruct that memory of a childhood experience”, having grown up surrounded by guns carried by British Army and police officers.
Despite this, the Gun Control Network has called for the Harley Gallery in Worksop, which is currently displaying several Lego pieces together, to remove the piece from the exhibition.
A spokesperson for the group said it shared parents’ concerns and the idea the display “has any artistic value whatsoever is completely nonsense”.
It also warned of the possible risk posed to the community by the replicas, stating that due to the weapon’s realism they “could be accessed by those wishing to use them to enable crime”.
Despite the controversy, the gallery has kept the artwork up, with the exhibition running until April 12.