Fifty Shades of Grey director Sam Taylor-Johnson turns Ham&High article into £7,000 artwork

Armed police had turned up to the home of Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly Taylor-Wood) and Aaron Taylor

Armed police had turned up to the home of Sam Taylor-Johnson (formerly Taylor-Wood) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in August. Picture: Dominic Lipinski - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Turner Prize-nominee and Hollywood director Sam Taylor-Johnson has turned an article written by the Ham&High into her latest artwork – and it has been valued by Bonhams at £7,000.

The Ham&High article submitted as a piece of art by Sam Taylor-Johnson is said to be worth up to £7,

The Ham&High article submitted as a piece of art by Sam Taylor-Johnson is said to be worth up to £7,000. Picture: Dave Benett - Credit: Archant

The award-winning artist, who is in the middle of directing an adaptation of best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey, framed a copy of a Ham&High news report for an exhibition curated by Jake Chapman of the Chapman Brothers.

The framed article, on display at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in The Mall all this week, features a report of armed police swarming outside the artist’s home in Primrose Hill when an ex-Iranian soldier and passing dog walker spotted an M16 machine gun lying on a table through her basement window.

The incident in August, which later made headlines around the world, sparked alarm and saw her leafy residential street swamped with police brandishing their own machine guns.

But the weapon was later found by officers to be a decommissioned rifle intended to be part of a peace charity’s art exhibition and auction.

Peace One Day had given machine guns to a number of prominent artists with the idea of turning “objects of war to use in support of peace”.

With Mrs Taylor-Johnson’s as-yet untransformed piece of art gathering more media attention for the charity than any piece was likely to, she instead chose as her submission a framed copy of the Ham&High’s article printed on fine art paper.

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Entitled simply No Comment, and valued by Bonhams at between £5,000 and £7,000, it went on display at the ICA on Monday evening, alongside M16s decorated and transformed by artists including model Kate Moss, painter Peter Doig, and the Chapman Brothers.

Harry Shawyer, of Peace One Day, said: “We had an inkling Sam would be submitting something to do with the news story but we weren’t sure. It’s a very interesting and humorous piece, different to what all the other artists have submitted. Sam has obviously used the Ham&High article to tell the story of what happened.

“It was well received and in the end the whole incident gave the charity a great deal of positive coverage.”

Jeremy Gilley, actor and founder of Peace One Day, also celebrated the piece, noting how it “immortalises the moment her involvement with [the project] made headline news”.

Of the exhibition, he added: “Jake Chapman has brought together an incredible group of leading artists and creatives who have taken the M16 assault rifle and created phenomenal pieces of art. I can’t wait for the public to view them and of course the funds generated from the sale gives us additional fuel to take the Peace One Day message around the world.”

The charity is as yet unsure what plans Mrs Taylor-Johnson has for the M16 given to her and, in keeping with the title of her piece, she would not comment when approached by this paper.

The exhibition at the ICA, called Peace One Day M16, is open to the public until Sunday.

An auction of the artwork, including Mrs Taylor-Johnson’s, will take place in January.

Money raised will go towards to the charity’s education projects, promoting peace and non-violence.