Nottingham

Lego artist David Turner denies glamorising guns

David Turner Brick Gun Image copyright David Turner
Image caption Brick Gun was built by Belfast artist David Turner who grew up in Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles

An artist whose Lego gun model has been criticised by anti-firearms campaigners says outrage about his work is "taking it a bit too far".

Replicas of pistols and machine guns made by Belfast artist David Turner feature in a Lego exhibition at the Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire.

The Gun Control Network said the work's inclusion was "promoting guns".

But Mr Turner said the work was inspired by his childhood in Northern Ireland at the height of The Troubles.

Turner, who was born in Belfast in 1968, said: "It was very much guns every single day with the police and the Army.

"The first thing I did as a child was I went to the Lego box and I made toy guns, so I could run around the nursery with a Lego gun.

"And what that installation represents is simply this, it's nothing more complicated than that."

Image caption The Gun Control Network argues the Lego guns do not have any artistic value and has called for them to be removed

He added: "It absolutely does not glamorise guns. It is what it is. It is a representation of guns made entirely from Lego.

"I've made artwork on subject matters that would curl your toes, and it's never got this reaction anywhere else."

Image copyright Harley Gallery
Image caption A piece depicting the character of Alex from the book and film, A Clockwork Orange, also features in the exhibition

But the Gun Control Network said it was "complete nonsense" to suggest the work had "any artistic value".

"A display of replica guns is merely a display of replica guns," a spokesman said.

They have called on the Harley Gallery to remove the Lego replica guns from the installation and "accept it was an error of judgement".

Image copyright Harley Gallery
Image caption The exhibition Brick by Brick opened at the Harley Gallery last weekend and runs until April

The gallery's director Lisa Gee said: "Art is designed to challenge our beliefs and preconceptions and spark conversations. It's getting people to debate many issues, which is what good art is all about."

She added there had also been many positive responses from children in the visitor book.

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