Tate Modern Sitting:Sophie Morgan

Busy Busy Busy….i think I’m running behind myself at the mo! Last week Michele Taylor came to my home studio in Shropshire and posed for her portrait nude. A first for her .

 Michele said: “It really was unlike anything I’ve ever done before: to allow my nude body to be viewed by someone other than my partner for nothing other than aesthetic appreciation. I don’t think it quite sank in until you showed me the photos and I started to see my body as you were seeing me. Not to have to hide, pretend or feel ashamed but rather to be invited to show, to be, to celebrate. It’s not often we get the chance to do that – as women let alone as disabled women.

It was a rare moment of joined-upness for me – body, emotions, intellect all congruent, all out there, all accepted and welcomed.

I had a little smirk to myself today when someone in a shop made a stage whispered disparaging remark about me: it was such a temptation to tell her what I’d been doing yesterday! That was empowering. So in a way I guess it also felt like a bit of a two-fingered salute to those who stare, who look and who don’t bother to see.” 

I always feel moved as an artist and as a disabled woman when I’m sharing my woman hood, disability experiences and life with likeminded people. Michele made a great model and it was as if she’d done it all her life, she was very natural as an artists model. It was an honour to draw you Michele, thank you. Michele is posing again for me, clothed this time at Tate Liverpool 5 March 10, join us then.

I’ve just had my first days research in Tate Liverpool, exploring the artworks in the galleries to discover references to disability culture in mainstream art 20th century. So I’m loitering in the galleries infront of specific artworks that I think have a reference to disability culture and the nude, quizzing the general public as to wat they think of these artworks. So on my first visit I talked to about ten enquiring minds of Architect students from John Moors University, they were integued by my project and did think that some artworks were strange… most referenced ‘Untitled-Wheelchair’ by Mona Hatoum…. what do you think of this artwork?

 I’m in Tate Modern Thursday 28th jan exploring their artworks from a disability perspective….mmmmm what shall I find?

 Sophie Morgan is my next sitter at Tate Modern 29th Jan 10, where I’ve been upgraded to Studio C, among the galleries, why not join us.

 I’ll let you know how it goes. T

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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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