And I couldn't whip out a sheet of Canson Mi-Teintes on these lofty premises if I hadn't been toughened up by drawing in the mud and snow of Occupy's tragicomic protest camps.
I sit in the public seats. I see what you see. There’s plenty of law, but I leave that to the professionals. Drawing materials have to be small, non-spillable and quiet (you can make quite a racket dragging chalk across paper).
I’m probably too fond of the Kuretake Little Red Gift Set; the water is safely confined in a plastic brush pen.
I draw small because of the constraints. But there’s a wall in Senate House asking for something big, maybe cartoonish. And vulnerable.
I go to the wholesalers, John Purcell Paper, and get a roll of white paper nearly my height for about sixteen quid.
I cut some off and crease it by accident. To make it look deliberate I crush the whole sheet. To avert snow blindness I paint it with tea.
I draw a distillation of a QC I saw at PMS International Limited v Magmatic Limited. I use sheep’s wool dipped in ink which is handy if you want to be big and fast - as when drawing the pole performer Ayumi LaNoire in kimono.
I include a nod to the Supreme Court emblem, which incorporates the letter omega (it’s your last stop before Europe), Libra (the scales of justice), the Tudor rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the flax flower of Northern Ireland and the leaves of the Welsh leek. I omit the green – I don't want too many colours. For the flowers I use acrylic ink because I've forgotten how much I dislike its insolent opacity.
This time, instead of a single seat in the court, I have a whole kitchen table - from Luke Hughes’s ready-to-wear range in the days before he got to design the woodwork in the Supreme Court.
And guess what - my picture turns out to be legally useful. I am secretly thrilled.
My friend Hubert is going to use it in a law lecture, to illustrate the difference between copyright and design right: 'Copyright protects "the expression of an author's intellectual creation" whereas the design right protects "the appearance of the whole or a part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials of the product itself and/or its ornamentation" (where a "product" is "any industrial or handicraft item, including parts intended to be assembled into a complex product, packaging, get-up, graphic symbols and typographic typefaces, but excluding computer programs").'
My exhibition of drawings, The Body of Law, is on the second floor of Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. It is part of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ public engagement programme, www.ials.sas.ac.uk. Open until the end of July, Mon-Fri 9am-8.30pm, Sat 9.45am-5.15pm.