I’m saddened by the news that one of my past portrait sitters has died today. Sir William Lawrence was a great gentle man who fought for disabled access in tourism. I painted his portrait with great respect to his work and energy for disabled people to enjoy life to the full.
I painted his portrait in Wolverhampton art Gallery in 2011 and his portrait remains in storage for now. One day to be exhibited and celebrate his life.
Sir William was a great subject and a pleasure to portray.
When painting his portrait I really tried to capture his sence of style, presence and unique physicality as we spoke about the support his family gave him as he grew up in a disabling world. He took great pleasure in having his portrait painted and here is what he said about his experience under the Raabe-Webber brush.
‘When Tanya said that she would like to draw and paint me at the
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, I was amazingly honoured and,
when she said that a group of students were going to do the
same, I was totally gob smacked. I found it a very satisfying
experience, one to be highly recommended; and it’s good to
know that Arts Council England are supporting Disability Art.’