more about the sitters

Heres the full info about the sitters. They’ve all been chosen for their work in developing a thriving disability culture.

I have chosen the figure because of their part in creating and developing a contemporary disability culture.

Simone Aspis: Simone is Learning disabled and the UK Disabled Peoples Council’s Campaigns Worker. She is currently working with the Coalition Against the Welfare Reform Bill and Mental Health System Survivors against the Welfare Reform and Mental Health Bills. Simone is a member of the Not Dead Yet (campaigning for disabled peoples equal rights to life) and Alliance for Inclusive Education’s Secretary (campaigning for inclusive education for all Disabled Learners). While working with Independent Panel for Special Education Needs Advice Simone assisted disabled children and parents to win court cases for supported mainstream school placements.

Deborah Williams: Deborah is the Creative Producer and artist in residence with Reality Productions. She is changing the face of theatre production in terms if influencing artistic policy.

Gary Robson: Gary is the Artistic Director of Fittings  Multimedia Arts and Artistic Director of DaDa International Festival 2008-2010 his work in these areas has meant that we now see International disabled artists showcasing their work in UK.

Sir Bert Massie CEB: Sir Bert Massie, the former chair of the Disability Rights Commission, has been appointed as the new Commissioner for the Compact, the agreement that strives to develop links between public, voluntary and community organisations.

Michele Taylor: ‘Disability simply does not appear on the radar of many so-called ‘mainstream’ organisations. Maybe we, as disabled people, have moved from the outside looking in – but only as far as to the inside looking on. For many of these organisations, the conversations about disability are just too difficult, too fraught with semantic and philosophical stumbling blocks for them to engage fully with how to embrace disability culture into their theatres, galleries or concert halls.  I see myself at the interface between these organisations and disability culture’. I encourage those organisations to have the conversations they seem to be afraid of having. Maybe I am a ‘disability  ambassador’, trading in visibility. My approach is to enable, to encourage and hopefully, thereby, to open doors for disabled and deaf people and for disability and deaf culture.

Sophie Morgan: Fashion Model and runner up in the, television reality show ‘The Missing Model’. As a result of this programme Sophie now has a successful career in mainstream modelling industry.  

Baroness Campbell, of Surbiton, D.B.E: Jane has developed a changing disability culture in terms of Human Rights and Independent Living, she campaigns for ‘Living with Dignity’ and the right to live as we choose. Jane is an active Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords.

Sir William Laurence: is the Great Great Grandfather of Sergeant Surgeon to Queen Victoria: Granted a Baronetcy in 1867 of Ealing Park. He is 5th Baronet of Ealing Park. Great Grandfather was President of the Royal Horticultural Society and was one of the founders of the Chelsea Flower Show. Sir William was Awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II for Services to Tourism in 2005 and he was Awarded an Honorary Master of Arts Degree by the University of Worcester in 2006.

Dr Sonali Shah: Dr Sonali is a Nuffield Research Fellow, Centre for Disabilty Studies, School of Sociology &  Social Policy, University of Nottingham. Dr Sonali is leading the way in terms of sociology and social policy and is researching disabled peoples lives and working with Graeae  and CandoCo Dance Company to develop ways of prescribing these stories.

The peoples choice!: this will be a portrait chosen by the public using social networks, BBC Ouch!, Facebook, FLcker and Ecetera,e-mag.  

I have developed The People’s Choice in response to the publics enthusiastic response to wanting to know more about who’s out there and to their request to see more painting. Look out for this as you’ll get your chance to vote for who you want to see have their portrait painted to join this collection.


About Tanya Raabe

Tanya Raabe Visual Artist: an established Artist has recently toured Who’S WhO – portraits of established disabled artists nationally, including screening at National Portrait Gallery; exhibition tour, Light House, Wolverhampton; The Place, Telford; Oriel Wrexham, Shape, London. Recently as Artist Advisor to ACE and Cultural Olympiad on Artist taking the Lead commissioning panel. I'm Presently creating a new commision for Meadow Arts / National Trust Croft Castle, 'The Custodians'.
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