Well the event of drawing Sophie Morgan in Tate Modern was certainly an experience never to be forgotten. I was a little nervous to begin with at the thought of the public watching me creating my drawings in graphite and acrylic paint, and as i strained to reach the top of my drawing board with my paintbrush and ink droper the audience were mezmerised by what they saw.
people joined me in drawing this spectacle ……the day before i was wondering round the galleries researching artworks that depict disability in some way or other…..i picked on ‘the Pegion Chested Man’ a painting of a disabled man who was a performer in a circus in 1929….. many people did not know that this is how many disbled people made their living and were infact proud to do so….not such a strange out of date phonomena…..my parents infact met in the circus in the 1960’s, my mother a trained ballet dancer, played a clown and my father an animal trainer……has anyone seen the ‘last american freak show’…..this is out disability culture, hidden and unspoken about it our galleries. the public were facinated to know these facts if not a little shocked by it.
so creating a specticle like event painting a portrait of a disabled person by a disabled artist, i started to question was i inviting people to stare…..they were watching with intent to have ago themselves…..one onlooker was interested by the way that i didn’t map out the whole body but started with the inner parts, the nose, the eyes then i work outwordly.
sophie was an interesting model and is very much a disability campaigner…The IMPERFECT campaign has been launched to challenge perceptions of disability. www.imperfect.uk.com and sophie would like to be more involved in disability arts….lets welcome her….
see me on BBC Ouch! http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/interviews/13_questions_painter_tanya_raabe.shtml
one of my sitters has pulled out Dr Sonali Shah….so i’m looking for another disability cultural figure. if you have any ideas email me firstname.lastname@example.org the sitter should be disabled, and have influenced disability culture today, yesterday, or new on the block….but not and artist.
was Matise a disabled Artist?
see yall next time..