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Year: 2011

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG

Runtime: 27 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Catherine Hunter

Produced By: Carolyn Johnson

Language: English

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Roger Law was a creator of the UK puppet show Spitting Image before he deported himself to Australia to explore his remaining artistic talent. He underwent a journey of renewal in the bush that ultimately led him to China. DVD includes SPECIAL FEATURES: Director’s Interview [12 mins] and Additional Scenes [18 mins].

Roger Law used to be famous. He was the co-creator of Britain’s legendary satirical puppet show Spitting Image. With millions of viewers and spin-offs in Europe and Australia, the show lampooned the leaders of the day: Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr and the British Royal Family.

When the show finally crashed in 1996 Law moved to Australia in search of artistic rejuvenation. “I knew in Australia, it would maybe, if I worked at it, be a whole new start,” explains Roger.

Aged in his 60s, he returned to his art-school passion for drawing and ceramics and started working in clay. Freed of the burden of notoriety, Roger Law found himself in a place where he could create without the fear of failure. “You've got huge tracts of Australia that are not copyrighted because everything in England has been – Constable owns that, Turner owns this, did it better, how are you going to better them? Well it is anybody’s in Australia. There are places you can go and the main problem is how you interpret it on paper.”

A meeting with Chinese-Australian ceramicist Ah Xian compelled Law to travel to China’s Jingdezhen, a whole city famously devoted to making porcelain. Fired up by the expertise of the Jingdezhen potters and carvers, Roger immersed himself in a challenging workshop situation not unlike that which he had created with Spitting Image, and began to make decorative pots teeming with Australian sealife.

In A LAW UNTO HIMSELF Roger Law tells his story with wit and wisdom: from the exhaustion of Spitting Image to his artistic renewal in Australia and China. The film follows Law as he prepares work for an exhibition of ceramics at London’s revered Victoria and Albert Museum.

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