The Turner Prize nominated artist turned mediocre director Sam Taylor-Johnson nee Wood had her house raided by police this week when a machine gun was spotted through a basement window. The artist who is married to Kick-Ass star Aaron Taylor-Johnson caused the fracas by leaving the decommissioned assault rifle on a table in a window, where it was spotted by a former Iranian soldier. Armed police were then alerted.
Local photographer, Phil Cowan, a Primrose Hill resident who was passing by at the time, told the Ham&High newspaper: “I was just walking my dog and saw an old man looking down into the couple’s basement window. “I looked down and was shocked at what I saw – a gun lying on a desk. A close-up of the machine gun. Picture: Phil Cowan “The older gentleman said he was an ex-Iranian soldier and said it was a machine gun. He called the police. Two minutes later we were bundled into the back of an unmarked police car. “Then a whole load of armed police came – I’ve never seen anything like it. They covered the area brandishing guns. “Nobody appeared to be in to let them into the property so they deliberately let the alarm off. “They then had to wake up a magistrate judge to get a warrant to enter the property. I believe they broke in round the back. “When I returned the next morning, the gun was gone from the desk.” He added.
Artists; Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Gavin Turk, Stuart Semple, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Wood created works of art using the decommissioned guns for Peace One Day, to react against the horror of violence globally, with ‘AKA Peace’. Creating brand new works for the 2012 exhibition, curated by Jake Chapman in collaboration with non-profit organisation Peace One Day, these artists reinterpreted the AK-47 assault rifle, the most recognisable and devastating worldwide killing machine, as arresting artworks of intrigue and even beauty; recasting a weapon of devastation as a conduit to peace. The works were displayed at the ICA before being auctioned off at Phillips de Pury auctioneers.
Sam Taylor-Johnson said, “In recent times His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has called for the cultivation of world love and compassion by eliminating selfishness and greed. As war is wholly based in selfishness and greed, I can think of no better way for us all to work towards a Global Truce in uniting for a day of ceasefire observed unilaterally across the world. I hope that the AK 47 Art work project raised visibility and hope for this extraor- dinary cause.”
The 50 Shades of Grey director began exhibiting fine art photography in the early-1990s. In 1994, she exhibited a multi-screen video work titled Killing Time, in which four people mimed to an opera score. From that point multi-screen video works became the main focus of Taylor-Johnson’s work. Beginning with the video works Travesty of a Mockery and Pent-Up in 1996. One of Taylor-Johnson’s first United Kingdom solo shows was held at the Chisenhale Gallery, east London, in September–October 1996. Taylor-Wood was nominated for the annual Turner Prize in 1998, but lost out to the painter Chris Ofili. She won the Illy Café Prize for Most Promising Young Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale.
Photo: Left Phil Cowan Courtesy Ham & High