Art/Law Network

Dr Lucy Finchett-Maddock’s research is all about changing practice; using law in innovative and unconventional ways to make the legal more accessible.  It is cross-disciplinary, influenced by contemporary speculative philosophy, art history, fine art practice and clinical legal work. 

Lucy has written specifically on changes in legal methodology and pedagogy through clinical legal practice in the piece ‘Speculative Entropy: Dynamism, Hyperchaos and the Fourth Dimension in Environmental Law Practice’ (2016).  She has also written on the role of convergence and collaboration in law and art in ‘Forming the Legal Avant-Garde: A Theory of Art/Law’ (2019), and as co-editor in ‘Art, Law, Power: Perspectives on Legality and Resistance in Contemporary Aesthetics’ (2020). Lucy is currently working on a monograph that accounts for the increased use of art to communicate law entitled ‘Art: New Trajectories in Law’ (part of the Routledge New Trajectories in Law Series, forthcoming 2022).

Law and aesthetics have been a theme throughout her work, such as in the monograph ‘Protest, Property and the Commons: Performances of Law and Resistance’ (Routledge Social Justice Series, 2016), and other articles 'Seeing Red: Entropy, Property and Resistance in the Summer Riots 2011' (2012) and ‘In Vacuums of Law We Find - Outsider Poiesis in Street Art and Graffiti’ (2019). 

Lucy research is integral to Art/Law Network (ALN), which she founded, alongside the work of others, at Sussex Law School in 2015 with the aim of facilitating changes in practice. ALN does this by bringing together artists, lawyers, agitators, and academics working on the intersection of art and law to collaborate on ‘real-world’ problems, and to foster legal literacy and legal-democratic transformation through a new social relation of ‘art/law’.  Network activities to date include:  

  • working directly with communities, for example the Friends and Family of Travellers and No Fixed Abode Residents Association, developing a game that highlights the plight of the homeless (‘SLEEP’). This was exhibited at the Tate Exchange ‘Who are we?’ Project week in 2018.  This game sought to highlight the use of Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs) criminalising homelessness in Brighton and Hove where ALN worked with Bindmans Solicitors and Garden Court Chambers to challenge their use, resulting in PSPOs no longer being used against the homeless within the city; 
  • holding exhibitions, including ‘out(law)’ at the SEAS Socially Engaged Art Salon (2019) and a participatory exhibition on the EU referendum ‘UNION’ at The Synergy Centre Brighton (2016), where law was communicated through art to assist the public with understandings of their rights; 
  • the ongoing development of a database of lawyers, artists and agitators working together, for the use of network members and beyond. 

There are now 220 members of this international network from Brighton, the UK, Australia, Turkey, India, and beyond, including artists, lawyers, students, activists, art therapists, academics, and policy makers.  One member’s testimonial states:   

‘Working with lawyers as part of the Art/Law Network, particularly the UNION exhibition, really changed how I understood human rights work and how important it is for artists to be legally aware, whether working with law or not.  For the UNION exhibition, having legal collaboration meant as artists we were communicating as neutral view of the referendum as possible to the public, providing a unique legal-democratic space for learning about EU law relating to the referendum, through art.  This we feel is more important than ever when politics is so connected to media bias, we see what the ALN doing is providing a vital service in legal awareness, to the public and beyond.’  (Layla Tully and Distant Animals, artists, Brighton).  

Art/Law Network is about generating legal literacy through bringing art and law together in a ‘convergence’ methodology that highlights the synthesis of different practices and disciplines in order to create legally-literate knowledges for democratic change.   

Please see the Network's websiteTwitter, as well as Facebook and Instagram pages for more information.  To work with the network, please email   

Lucy's work as an artist, alongside her clinical legal work, has been influential in other ways, for example contributing to StreetLaw Brighton which started in 2014 as a project involving local Brighton gallery ‘Art Schism’