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Gagged Ungagged Talk

December 18, 2017 in General

Andy Davey writes:

I was honoured to be asked by those nice people at Procartoonists to “host” an evening of interviews and talks to accompany the “Gagged” exhibition of cartoons at Westminster Reference Library on the subject of the oppression, censorship and gagging of political cartoonists around the world. My experience of hosting is limited to the point of zero, so I therefore accepted with trepidation but nevertheless with complete admiration for the cartoonists who have suffered for their art and reportage. As it turned out on the evening, my admiration was justified and afterwards I felt very humbled by the experience.

Martin Rowson shows a blank slide of a cartoon censored by The Independent

The quality of the speakers was excellent. First up was the Guardian’s own superbly scatalogical Martin Rowson, giving us a short history of poo in print and advice on how to successfully offend just about anybody in power.

Cartoon by © Zunar

The evening then turned somewhat digital via Skype interviews and screenings of films of various cartoonists who fight their political systems despite hardship. A poignant dramatic intervention occurred here – we had booked the heroic Malaysian cartoonist Zunar to speak to us via video link but we could not establish connection. It was later revealed that his no-show was due to his arrest and confiscation of his phone and computer. He faces 43 years in jail because of his criticisms of the Malaysian PM but continues to draw because he feels that it is his duty to do so. Against this, it’s impossible not to feel absolutely humbled. The world needs obstinate, moral, courageous people like Zunar.

Cartoon by © Khalid Albaih

Our second cartoonist interviewee was no less impressive. Khalid Albaih, a cartoonist from Sudan (via Romania and the US) who now resides in Denmark in order to freely publish his political cartoons in a democratic environment. His cartoons (usually wordless) were used widely in Arab Spring demonstrations but he would not be able to publish such “seditious” work in those countries. Khalid was very eloquent and passionate about his need to draw political cartoons but has chosen not to associate himself with any media outlet for fear of being censored or corrupted. Consequently, he has a day job and draws at night.

Cartoonist Andy Davey with Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

This was followed by a rearguard action from the estimable Jodie Ginsberg from Index on Censorship, showing the visceral power of angry political cartoons from around the world and how they have been suppressed, sometimes brutally.

Video call with Robert Russell. Photo © Kasia Kowalska

Lastly we were privileged to speak to Robert Russell, the founder of Cartoonists Rights Network International – a man who has probably done more than any to help and support dozens of imprisoned, harassed and endangered cartoonists around the world.

All of this must remind us of how lucky we are in western democracies. But it is useful to remember that, even in the UK, the conditions that allow satire to flourish are not fully met. Censorship exists in practical terms because of the severe bias of the traditional media.

The future of cartoons may well be that modelled by Khalid Albaih – radical, delivered via independent social platforms…but unpaid. And the message that emerged from the evening was that cartoons most certainly have a future. Each contributor underlined the importance of political cartoons, particularly in societies with a democratic deficit.

A film of the event will be available to view online in the new year.

Eaten Fish exhibition and workshop at Herne Bay

August 19, 2017 in General

photo © @aroom4myfriend

The Surreal McCoy writes:

At the Herne Bay cartoon festival this summer, PCO committee member Glenn Marshall organised an exhibition of some of the cartoons drawn for PCO’s internet campaign #AddAFish for #EatenFish, the refugee cartoonist from Iran currently detained by Australian authorities on an island off Papua New Guinea. Contributing cartoonists from all over the world gave permission for their work to be shown and we hope to send it overseas as a pop-up exhibition in order to bring attention to the plight of Eaten Fish and his fellow refugees.

Exhibition contributions by © Martin Rowson and © Ralph Steadman

Fellow committee members The Surreal McCoy and Jeremy Banks ran a #DrawAFish workshop which was extremely well-attended and thanks to the Herne Bay contributors our shoal of cartoon fish grew even bigger.

photo © @aroom4myfriend

photo © @aroom4myfriend

photo © @aroom4myfriend

photo © @aroom4myfriend

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by Royston

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017:
The End of the Pier Show

August 10, 2017 in Events, General, News

The Herne Bay Cartoon Festival main event was held on the Pier for the first time on Sunday, after four years at the Bandstand. It proved a perfect fit for a live cartooning event. The sun shone and a good time was had by all.

Photos © Kasia Kowalska unless otherwise stated

The cartoonists' parade

The cartoonists’ parade their way on to the Pier with HBCF pencils, led by
Rob Murray, Chris Burke, Martin Rowson and Dave Brown

Cartoonists' group pic

The town crier announces the event as many of the cartoonists assemble

The cartoonists who took part were: Nathan Ariss, Jeremy Banx, Rupert Besley, Andrew Birch, Dave Brown, Des Buckley, Chris Burke, Pete Dredge, Noel Ford, Clive Goddard, Alex Hughes, Glenn Marshall, Rob Murray, Roger Penwill, Helen Pointer, Royston Robertson, Martin Rowson, Tim Ruscoe, Tim Sanders, Rich Skipworth, The Surreal McCoy, Steve Way and Chris Williams.

Chris Burke draws a seaside peep board

Where to begin? Chris Burke makes a start on creating a seaside peep board

Chris Burke's finished board

Chris Burke’s finished board is peerless. Photo © Richard Baxter

Martin Rowson and Andrew Birch

A day of contrasts: Martin Rowson with Andrew Birch

Martin Rowson draws

Martin Rowson’s Jeremy Corbyn cartoon drew a few disapproving glances but the kids loved it. Photos © Jason Hollingsworth

Click here for our blog post on Martin Rowson’s talk at the festival.

Caricaturists in action

The caricaturists — Helen Pointer, Alex Hughes and Pete Dredge — were kept constantly busy. Photo © Jason Hollingsworth

Family caricatured

Happy customers with caricatures by the three artists. Photo © Kerry Riley

Glenn Marshall's Punch and Judy v The Zombies

Glenn Marshall created a cartoon Punch and Judy show with a modern twist. That, as they say, is the way to do it

Public drawing board

As ever, the public were given a chance to draw, overseen by cartoonist the Surreal McCoy. Photo © Kerry Riley

Royston Robertson's Brexit board

Royston Robertson did board entirely filled with Brexit cartoons

Andrew Birch draws

Andrew Birch draws a seaside-themed board

Fake cartoons

Many of the cartoonists contributed to the Fake Cartoons shared board, mostly gags about Donald Trump. SAD! Photo © Richard Baxter

Rob Murray's The Scream big board

In the frame: Rob Murray poses with his board based on The Scream, with an info panel from “Tat Modern”. Photo © Richard Baxter

Dave Brown with big board

No Herne Bay Cartoon Festival would be complete without big board cartoon from The Independent’s Dave Brown

Cartoonists on the merry go round

To end the day, the cartoonists went on the merry-go-round. Pictured are
Noel Ford, who made his Herne Bay debut, Chris Williams and Alex Hughes. Photo © Karol Steele

Caricaturist Helen Pointer

The caricaturist Helen Pointer also appeared at Herne Bay for the first time. Photo © Jason Hollingsworth

That’s all, folks. You can see more by visiting @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or Facebook.com/ HBCartoonFest.

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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by Royston

Martin Rowson (and mini Farage) visit the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

August 9, 2017 in Events, General, News

Martin Rowson took part in the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival for the first time this year, where he gave a talk and was interviewed by Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP for nearby Canterbury.

All photos © Kasia Kowalska unless otherwise stated

Martin Rowson and Rosie Duffield at the Kings Hall, Herne Bay

Martin Rowson and Rosie Duffield at the Kings Hall, Herne Bay

But the Guardian cartoonist brought an extra guest to the event at the Kings Hall last Saturday, a rather disturbing Nigel Farage piñata — already beaten up from a party — that sat on the stage throughout the event.

Duffield, Rowson ... and Farage

Duffield, Rowson … and Farage

Ronald Searle was described by Martin Rowson as the greatest cartoonist of the 21st century.

Ronald Searle was described by Martin Rowson as the greatest
cartoonist of the 21st century. Photo © Andy Miller

Martin’s wide-ranging talk and slideshow covered the reasons we laugh at our so-called betters and ridicule them through drawings, taking in his own influences and his motivations behind drawing cartoons.

After the talk he was interviewed Rosie Duffield, who has put her own career as a satire writer on hold since becoming an MP.  The floor was then opened to questions.

At one point, cartoonists in the audience were heard chuckling at the often-asked “where do you get your ideas from?”

Martin Rowson is skewered by one of the HBCF pencils

Martin Rowson is skewered by one of the many HBCF pencils that
have appeared around the town over recent weeks.

An exhibition of Martin Rowson cartoons continues at the Bay Art Gallery in Herne Bay until Sunday 13 August.

 The piñata on the Pier

The piñata on the Pier. Pics © Jason Hollingsworth

The Farage piñata was shown a good time during the live cartooning day on the Pier the following day … before being stuffed with chips and thrown into the sea for the gulls to peck at.

We have more on the live event on the Pier on this blog. In the meantime you can see plenty of pictures by visiting @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or Facebook.com/ HBCartoonFest.

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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by Royston

Fifth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival begins

July 27, 2017 in Events, General, News

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival 2017 poster
[Poster by Chris Burke]

The fifth Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is under way, and this year the event features a change of venue for its main live event and a guest appearance by one of the UK’s top political cartoonists.

After four years at the town’s Bandstand, the live event will be held on the bustling Herne Bay Pier.

More than 20 of the UK’s top cartoonists will be there on Sunday 6 August from midday to draw big-board cartoons, seaside peep boards, caricatures and more. There will also be a few surprises and chances for the public to get involved with drawing.

The change of location has inspired the title of the main festival exhibition, The End of the Pier Show, which opened this week at the Beach Creative gallery and runs until Sunday 13 August.

An exhibition by the political cartoonist Martin Rowson also opened this week at the Bay Art Gallery. It also runs until Sunday 13 August.

Martin Rowson exhibition poster

Fresh from being described by the Daily Mail as “sick and disgusting”, Rowson will appear at the Kings Hall on Saturday 5 August, from 3pm-5pm, where he will be interviewed by Rosie Duffield, the first ever Labour MP for nearby Canterbury, wearing her other hat as a comedy writer and satirist.

Admission is free, but tickets can be reserved at Eventbrite.

Also open now at the Seaside Museum is the exhibition Cartoonists All At Sea, a selection of cartoons from the British Cartoon Archive in Canterbury, which runs until Sunday 10 September.

Cartoonists All at Sea poster

As has happened since the third festival, there will be a “fringe” event organised by Glenn Marshall. This year it is Mona Lisa – Not Happy, which sees the da Vinci painting “reworked, reimagined and regurgitated” by Marshall and other cartoonists and artists. The show opens at the One New Street gallery on Friday 4 August and runs until Saturday 2 September.

Mona Lisa Not Happy poster

Alongside the main show at Beach Creative, the festival also hosts Eaten Fish, an exhibition of work by cartoonists from all over the world supporting the plight of the Iranian cartoonist and political refugee known as Eaten Fish. He has been held at the Australian Detention Centre on Manus Island since 2013. The exhibition is in the gallery’s Rossetti Room until Sunday 13th August.

Eaten Fish poster

A key element of the End of the Pier Show exhibition — which features Steve Bell (Guardian), Dave Brown (Independent) and Jeremy Banx (Financial Times) alongside dozens of cartoonists seen in magazines such as Private Eye and The Spectator — are the “Fake Cartoons”, the festival cartoonists’ take on the fake news phenomenon that has emerged over recent years. Expect more than a few appearances by Donald Trump.

Trump Tweet cartoon by Nathan Ariss

To celebrate its fifth year, the festival is awarding a £250 cash prize, which it has dubbed the Paul Dacre Prize — after the Daily Mail editor who recently railed against a Rowson cartoon about the Finsbury Park Mosque attack, below — to the most provocative, unusual or offensive topical cartoon submitted for the exhibition.

Martin Rowson Firsbury Park Mosque attack cartoon

Workshops for budding cartoonists will also be held as part of the festival. Royston Robertson and Des Buckley host one at Beach Creative this Saturday (29 July) from 2.30pm-4pm.

And on Saturday 5 August, from 12-1.30pm, The Surreal McCoy will host the Eaten Fish Family Cartoon Workshop. Inspired by the Rossetti Room show it will be “a fishy exploration into all things fish”.

For updates on the Herne Bay Cartoon Festival, follow @HBCartoonFest on Twitter or go to Facebook.com/HBCartoonFest.

The cartoonists assemble at last year's Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

The cartoonists assemble at last year’s Herne Bay Cartoon Festival

Herne Bay Cartoon Festival is sponsored by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

The Round-up

November 13, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun

Nigel Farage © Andy Davey for The Sun. Click to enlarge

Public voting is under way for the Political Cartoon of the Year 2014. Those in the running include the Procartoonists.org members Andy Davey, above, Dave Brown, Martin Rowson, Steve Bell, Steve Bright and Gary Barker.

The Times’s political cartoonist Peter Brookes is the subject of a short film called The Art of Satire, part of the newspaper’s Unquiet films series, celebrating its contributors and other aspects of the newspaper’s production (there’s even one for font geeks, we know you’re out there).

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

A cartoon for Stars on Canvas © Jonesy

Many cartoonists have contributed to the new Stars on Canvas charity auction, in aid of the Willow foundation, which provides memorable days and experiences for seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40.

The contributors include a whole bunch of PCO members: Rob Murray, Kipper Williams, Mike Williams, Jonesy, Jonathan Cusick, Matt Percival. Jonathan Pugh, Royston Robertson, Lawrence Goldsmith, Kate Taylor, Tony Husband and Noel Ford.

The BBC has a short film on Quentin Blake, talking about his new book The Five of Us, which is about a group of children who overcome diabilities

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

Peter Capaldi © Jonathan Cusick

The Chris Beetles Gallery‘s winter selling exhibition The Illustrators opens this weekend (15 November). It features illustration from 1800 to the present day. One of the contempiorary artists featured is Procartoonists member Jonathan Cusick, above.

Britain has a poet laureate and a children’s laureate and now Dave Gibbons, best known as the artist behind Watchmen, has been named as the first comics laureate, an initiative by the charity Comics Literacy Awareness.  Gibbons recently spoke to the Guardian about his lifelong passion for the medium.

One person who doesn’t need convincing about the worth of comics is Price Harry, who revealed his love for them as he met cartoonist Will Kevans.

"Wittertainment" presenters © Terry Anderson

“Wittertainment” presenters © Terry Anderson

Finally, cartoons on the radio is a phenomenon that happens all too rarely but the Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo film review show and podcast, known to its army of fans as Wittertainment, has started a regular feature called Cartoonists’ Corner, so those who listen to the show while drawing cartoons can say hello.

Those inaugurated into Cartoonists’ Corner so far include Procartoonists members Martin Rowson and Royston Robertson. And the Witertainment presenters have been caricatured, above,  by Terry Anderson. Pictured, clockwise, are Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode, plus the recent stand-in presenters James King and Sanjeev Bhaskar.

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by Royston

The Round-up

September 10, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Detail from Scene & Heard on the hacking trial © David Ziggy Greene

Detail from Scene & Heard on the hacking trial © David Ziggy Greene. Click to enlarge

An exhibition of original art by Procartoonists.org member David Ziggy Greene, drawn for the reportage strip Scene & Heard, which has appeared in Private Eye since 2011, is at the Orbital Comics Gallery, 8 Great Newport Street, London, from 12 September until 10 October.

Entitled Scene & Hung, the exhibition ties in with the release of a book collection of Scene & Heard strips, described by Charlie Brooker as “as addictive as shelling and eating pistachio nuts”.

Meanwhile, PCO member Martin Rowson also has a collection out, called The Coalition Book, and is profiled by his local paper in south London.

Moose Kid Comics, the new venture by the cartoonist Jamie Smart and others, is taking over the Cartoon Museum in London for one afternoon only on 20 September, with workshops and talks by Smart, Gary Northfield and others. Booking is advisable: more details at the Cartoon Museum site.

BuzzFeed has a long piece, with lots of cartoons, “readers’ letters” and photos, on the unlikely rise, fall, and rise again of Viz comic.

Private Eye cartoon © Cluff

Private Eye cartoon © Cluff

An exhibition of cartoons, drawings and paintings by John Longstaff, better known as Cluff, is at the Crown Street Art Gallery in Darlington from 20 September until 13 November. Cluff has been the Northern Echo cartoonist since 1990 and is also seen regularly in magazines such as Private Eye.

The Echo has news of an exhibition of Matt cartoons at Nunnington Hall, near York, from 13 September until 2 November. The selling exhibition is organised by the Chris Beetles Gallery.

A few interesting articles from the US: The Atlantic has an interview with the influential political cartoonist Pat Oliphant; Comics Alliance has a career-spanning interview with Berkeley Breathed; and the Huffington Post talks to the Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi.

The Round-up

August 12, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Cartoon © Bill Stott

Cartoon © Bill Stott. Click to enlarge

It’s the summer lull. So we offer you a short round-up of cartooning news before we hit the beach with a very large book that will never be finished. Normal service will be resumed in September.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has a series of events called Stripped 2014, celebrating comics and graphic novels and the artists who create them. And if you’re in the city for the various festivals, Procartoonists.org member Martin Rowson is speaking at the Fringe today.

When is a conference not a conference? When it’s the Comics Unconference, which takes place in Glasgow in February. Meanwhile, a website called Comic Soapbox Scotland is showcasing politically engaged comics created in Scotland. The site wants to hear from all parties, on the subject of the looming referendum or not.

The Observer has an interview with Roger Law of Spitting Image fame. There’s a gallery here. Law has since moved on to other forms of art, which can be seen at Sladmore Contemporary.

This is nicely done, an interactive version of William Hogarth’s Gin Lane, from the BBC website.

First World War Commemorations continue, and a set of satirical cartoons from the time have gone on display in Camberley, Surrey.

Finally, we said we wouldn’t go on about it again, but the Cartoonists Beside the Surrealside event in Herne Bay got a rather nice write-up in the local Herne Bay Gazette. Click image to enlarge.

hbg

The Round-up

July 1, 2014 in Events, General, Links, News

Kate Charlesworth. Photo by Kasia Kowalska

Kate Charlesworth. Photo by Kasia Kowalska

Kasia Kowalska writes:

Twelve cartoonists have been commissioned to create artwork about the First World War to accompany the BBC Radio 4 series 1914 Day by Day, in a collaboration between 14-18 NOW and the Cartoon Museum.

Margaret MacMillan, author of The War That Ended Peace, follows the events that led to the conflict in a daily broadcast at 4.55pm. The Procartoonists.org members Kate Charlesworth, above, with her artwork at the museum, Steve Bell and Ralph Steadman are involved in the project.

Quentin Blake tells Simon Schama that he is “not frightened by the word museum” in an interview for the FT about his inaugural exhibition at the new House of Illustration, in King’s Cross, London. The exhibition, called Inside Stories, runs from 2 July to 2 November and includes illustrations for children’s books as well as artwork for Candide by Voltaire. UPDATE: The BBC News website has a new feature on the House of Illustration.

From the Satirical City exhibition by Martin Rowson

From the Satirical City exhibition by Martin Rowson (click to enlarge)

PCO member Martin Rowson has an exhibition of London-themed cartoons called Satirical City at the Building Centre until 12 July. The exhibition marks the 15th anniversary of London Communications Agency and displays close to 120 cartoons, drawn over the past 15 years, and a new mural. The cartoonist talks to BBC London News about the exhibition here, and writes about it here.

Andy Murray kicked off Wimbledon by becoming a guest editor of The Beano. “This might be my greatest title yet,” he told The Guardian.

What connects Finding NemoBambi and countless other cartoons? The writer Sarah Boxer (In the Floyd Archives) asks Why are all the cartoon mothers dead? in an article published by The Atlantic.

Moose Kids Comics launched online

Moose Kids Comics is available as PDF for free

The new kids’ publication Moose Kids Comics, above, brainchild of the cartoonist Jamie Smarthas launched for free online but is on the look out for a publisher.

The BBC has a report on the elaborate appeal of William Heath Robinson. The building of a museum to house his work begins in the autumn.

Following the exodus of Spain’s top cartoonists from the satirical magazine El Jueves last month (we covered that here), a rival digital version has appeared online titled Orgullo y Satisfacción (Pride and Satisfaction). It has had 30,000 downloads since its launch a few weeks ago. The digital magazine will become a regular monthly publication from September.

The 31st Aydın Doğan International Cartoon Competition in Turkey announced its winners, with the top prize going to the Turkish cartoonist, Kürşat Zaman. More than 800 cartoonists from 70 countries took part and the panel of judges was led by the cartoonist Liza Donnelly, of The New Yorker, and included the Cartoon Museum curator Anita O’Brien.

The US cartoonist Etta Hulme has died. She was twice named best editorial cartoonist by the National Cartoonist Society and was the subject of the documentary Trailblazer: The Editorial Cartoons of Etta Hulme. And one of the most distinguished US sports cartoonists, Amadee Wohlschlaeger, has died, aged 102.

© Charles Barsotti/The New Yorker

© Charles Barsotti/The New Yorker

Finally, we remember the New Yorker cartoonist Charles Barsotti, who died on 16 June. He is fondly remembered by the magazine’s cartoon editor Bob Mankoff. And there is a selection of Barsotti cartoons on his favourite theme here.

Exhibition: Pastiche, Parody and Piracy

June 12, 2014 in Events, General, News

Steve Bell: "I licence the logo bearers ..."

Steve Bell: “I licence the logo bearers …”

Many PCO members feature in an exhibition that brings together cartoonists and contemporary artists called Pastiche, Parody and Piracy and opens at the Cob Gallery in north London on 20 June.

The exhibition was put together by the the curator Camilla Ellingsen Webster with artist Miriam Elia and cartoonist Jeremy Banx, with the aim of showing the importance of the “appropriation” of images made by others in art and satire.

The team say that they were inspired to “celebrate the historical creative act of pastiche, parody and piracy” after Penguin UK threatened to pulp Elia’s book We Go to the Gallery, a parody of the Ladybird series of children’s books.

Alongside Banx, the PCO members involved are: Nathan Ariss, Steve Bell, Andrew Birch, Matt Buck, Wilbur Dawbarn, Pete Dredge, Noel Ford, Steve Jones, Kathryn Lamb, Chris Madden, Glenn Marshall, Alexander Matthews, Jonathan Pugh, Ken Pyne, Royston Robertson, Martin Rowson, Cathy Simpson, Bill Stott, The Surreal McCoy and Mike Turner.

Wilbur Dawbarn plays with Dance by Matisse

Wilbur Dawbarn plays with Matisse’s Dance

As well as cartoons, this exhibition will feature projections, photographs, prints and collage that use or pastiche other works of art, characters and logos.

The use of other works – though it has long been a tool in art – can be a controversial issue, particularly as those works are often copyrighted. The exhibition has already stirred up debate within in the PCO, with some members refusing to take part.

The gallery says: “The pieces in this exhibition play with other people’s ideas and pre-existing works to showcase a selection of contemporary appropriation in art that is often mischievous, somewhat humorous, and often unsettling. It plays with what the viewer might be comfortable with and questions ideas of authorship and originality.”

The title for this exhibition was inspired by a proposed exception for parody, satire and pastiche in a government copyright law. If it is passed, the act of subverting and appropriating elements of popular culture will be protected from large companies that often seek to silence artists through the courts.

Chris Madden takes on the House of Mouse

Chris Madden takes on the House of Mouse

“We believe this is crucial for the future of appropriative art and satire, and although the law has been delayed, we are putting on this exhibition to celebrate artists, satirists and cartoonists who are paving the way,” say the organisers.

Pastiche, Parody and Piracy: Exploring Different Approaches in Contemporary Art Appropriation is at The Cob Gallery, London NW1 from 20 June – 5 July. For more, email info@cobgallery.com or call 020-7209 9110