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EXTRA EXTRA! Live Portrait sitting Tate Modern

I Know you've been missing me on DAO! Been busy Launching the exhibition at solihull arts complex that went really well......everyone is loving the artworks. hope youve had time to take a peek. the whole project is on its own blog. http://revealingcultureheadon.wordpress.com/

and just updated my website with lots of great new films and artworks on from the project. Ceck it out too. http://www.tanyaraabe.co.uk/headon.html

If you want to catchup on my work spanning the last 20 yrs its on Flickr. http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanyaraabe/sets/72157627340149588/

As you know the live portrait sessions open to the public to join me and the sitters have been in the Tate galleries. It was a great suprise when Tate Modern asked me to do an extra sitting just for them....mmmmmm i must be doing something right Hey!

So the next Live Portrait sitting Tate Modern happens Wednesday 21 September 2011, 14.00–16.30 Tate Modern Studio C Level 3.

An open studio exploring evidence of disability in the Tate collection. I'm painting again! This time its a live portrait of disability rights activist, poet and artist Vince Laws. He's traveling all the way from Norwich to have his portrait in the Revealing Culture:HeadOn Collection

Join us to see the portrait unfold, and talk to Vince and myself about our lives and art http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/talksdiscussions/24521.htm

“Tanya arranged the space so that the sitters, and Tanya’s works in progress, faced directly into the gallery once the double doors were opened. This was an irresistible lure for hundreds of members of the public who had the chance to talk to Tanya and her sitter of the day, and also to pick up some drawing materials and join in.”Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator of Access Projects, Tate Modern.

In the mean time I'm about to start a new painting of the larger than life Liz Carr to put in to the Royal Academy summer Show next Yr an into National Portrait BP Awards. Also planning to take the exhibition to Tate Modern so watch this space.

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 8 September 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 18 March 2013

Revealing Culture:HeadOn - exhibition coming soon

Revealing Culture: HeadOn – Portraits of the Untold

My new and exciting, formidable collection of contemporary portraits of distinguished characters from an ever evolving Disability Culture will be launched at Solihull Arts Complex from 27th June -13th August 2011

You will finally get to see the fruits of my brushstrokes and paint as these portraits have emerged dressed and nude, from the enigmatic portal portrait happenings in Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Thursday 30th June: Private View - 6.15pm – 7.30pm.

Thursday 7th July: Artists Talk with Tanya Raabe, artist and portrait sitter Deborah Williams, writer, theatre-maker, producer, digital composer - 6.15 -7.30pm

See and hear the portraits of Simone Aspis, Baroness Jane Campbell, Garry Robson, Tom Shakespeare, Bert Massie, Michele Taylor, Sophie Morgan, Sir William Laurence, Deb Williams and not forgetting The Peoples Choice Nabil Shaban

You can follow the exhibition on Facebook

Hope to see you all there!

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 9 May 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 14 June 2011

Tanya on her recent successes... and Raspberry Ripple

I'm totally absorbed by my paintings in my studio, just now, thinking, eating and living colour in lucious oils good enough to eat.

Since Christmas I've worked on eight of the new portraits and I'm getting quite excited with the results while getting addicted to Radio 4's Womans Hour, which is the next media show that I'm aspiring to be on.

I'm addicted to the afternoon plays and You and Yours with Peter Wight who I would like to paint. Last November he received an Ability Media Fellowship award at the same time as i was presented with a Visual Arts award by Jude Kelly, Art Director of South Bank, London.  offered me an exhibition during the Champagne reception.

I've now got to chase that up, between painting... so watch this space. In January I was also featured in the Art of England magazine, another mainstream media hit. Where will it all end! 

I'm working on painting Garry Robson's hand holding his foot. Interpreting the subjects hands and feet is proving challenging and I've had to explore the visual language of the paint, but i do think its coming together. The smaller the object the more difficult it is. I love to work on large objects Concerning my self with detail has made me rethink how to interpret detail with just a colour or simple brushstrokes. You can see more photos on Flickr.

The sitters brought objects that reflect disability culture and themselves. Michele Taylor brought an air freshener as her disability cultural object... mmm a strange one you may ask!! Well you'll have to wait to hear her analogy that will be here talking about it in the Multi-Media portrait that will be launched at the exhibition Solihull Arts Complex, Birmingham, which opens 27 June 2011, Private View 30 June 2011, closes 14 August 2011.

I've also been busy working with Fittings Multimedia Arts as their Associate Artist having fun and making artworks to support their Raspberry performance that is now showing at Oval House Theatre, London... another pioneering moment!

I've created Raspberry The Rehearsal - an animation combining drawings of the rehearsal last March at the Tron, Glasgow. As well as creating 'Raspberry Ripple' a tryptic painted sketch of the happening during the rehearsal, which will be premiered at the Oval House. I'm also running Perfection VS Perfectability. workshops alongside the show.

As Associate Artist with Fittings Multimedia I've been gadding about the country running The Ugly Spirit workshops exploring the divided Self with the ever flamboyant artist David Hoyle. We've been to Hereward College, Coventry, Project Ability, Glasgow, met some very graceful elders in London and explored Gay Disabled culture with Homotopia, Liverpool. Artworks made will go to influencing the look of the finished Performance of The Ugly Spirit an Unlimited commission.

Check out images from the Hereward College workshops and Project Ability workshops on Flickr.

It's all very exciting stuff... I'm exhausted just thinking about it all!

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 4 February 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 February 2011

DaDaFest International 2010 portraits and more...

I've just had the craziest of times lately... what with doing a live portrait sitting of Sir William Laurence in Wolverhampton art Gallery... and it being filmed by Art Council England as a showcase study soon to be posted on the ACE website.

Then being interviewed on BBC's The Culture Show by Mat Fraser posing nude as I created a paint-drawing of him... to being awarded an Ability Media International award 2010 in the Visual Arts... where is it all going?

Let me start with Sir William's portrait sitting. He is a fascinating character who has been methodically and quietly changing attitudes towards perceptions of disabled people within the tourist industry.

Sir William says: "When Tanya said that she would like to draw / 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 but drawing only, I was totally gob smacked. I found it a very satisfying experience, one to be highly recommended and in the knowledge that ACE are supporting Disability Art."

DaDaFest 2010 this year has been a fantastic celebration of Disability Art worldwide. It totally excites me as a disabled artist to see our art being recognised as an art form in its own right on mainstream TV for the first time ever.

I feel massively proud to have being part of a pivotal pioneering moment in the history of the movement. When Mat Fraser phoned me to ask me to be interviewed on BBC's The Culture Show of course I said yes... who wouldn't.

We thought the only way this was going to work was if I made a drawing of Mat as I would in any portrait sitting. As some of my sitters have posed nude it seemed natural to me to make the interview happen this way... with Mat posing whilst interviewing me.

Plus it created a fab opportunity to have the world see me make as well as talk about my work and to spread the word about Disability Arts without compromising.

The response has been really positive and lets hope it continues to open the front doors! The commissioned drawing of Mat Fraser made on BBC's The Culture Show has been donated to DaDa and will be auctioned off to raise funds for the next Festival 2012... so look out for that.

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 6 December 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 December 2010

Liz Carr poses for Tanya Raabe as part of Revealing Culture at Tate Liverpool

Liz Carr was a brilliant sitter and had great stories to tell about her travels around the world, her ever entertaining life, her family and her wedding plans for this November... good look girl... looking forward to hearing a million and one funny stories...

Liz said this about her portrait sitting at Tate Liverpool:

"Tanya dragged me up to the Tate Liverpool to do my portrait. As someone who now lives in London, this was initially a little annoying, but as I sat there and Tanya began to sketch me, I was looking out over the River Mersey. I was looking across the river to the other side, to the Wirral, where I grew up.  So how appropriate to be talking about my history, about how I'd become involved in disability politics and arts with my childhood town as the backdrop. I loved sitting there, chatting away, being the centre of attention. Tanya had such an easy touch with the paint brush, the charcoal and the people who came to watch and portrait. The best part though?  Had to be when my parents popped in to have a look at what we were up to.

Dad in his cap, mum with her shopping bag and both succumbed to Tanya's charms and had a go at drawing me. Surreal. Funny. The place where I grew up and the people who brought me up created a brilliant context for this brilliant artist."

When Liz's parents joined us I suddenly felt under scrutiny... had I drawn their daughter in a good light? Liz's parents critiqued my work with honour, fascination and with great achievement. They loved it! Well they appreciated it especially my interpretation of Liz's hands. And then we discussed a system for drawing hands that my University lecturers suggested I use... "draw hands like bunches of bananas." I've been adopting this approach ever since.

Mostly though I'm in my studio working up the paintings... a mean feat! So far I've got eight portraits up and running. So at the mo I'm blocking in. That is underpainting, laying down the colours and creating the forms of the portraits. Some are full length others are head and torso. All have two objects that they brought to talk about. One object is a personal one, something that describes them as a person and one object has disability cultural significance. As I'm not into painting detail I'm struggling with interpretation of these objects in paint! I may use a mix media approach using montage.

I'm in Wolverhampton Art Gallery tomorrow 19 0ctober 2010, doing a portrait sitting of Sir William Laurence. I hope some of you can join me. If not i'll let you know how it went soon.

See some more photos of work in my studio on flickr

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 19 October 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 19 October 2010

Tanya Raabe makes some more paintings... Revealing Culture: HeadOn

Its still all go in the world of Revealing Culture HeadOn... now where have I got up to.

Well... the charismatic Tom Shakespeare sat for his portrait in Tate Modern earlier this month and what a great day it was. When we opened the doors for the public, they came in waves joining us in strange, sometimes challenging conversations about how we manage life, pain and struggle.

This lead to more artistic debates about composition, line, colour and structure... It was quite surreal at times as we were once again an art exhibit in our own right. People who joined us were from New Zealand, Belgium, Italy, Africa, Sweden, California, and more. Some people had travelled especially for the event from Norwich and Glasgow. Well I was impressed!

Tom said this about the Sitting: "I was honoured to be included in Tanya's selection of sitters representative of the diversity of disability culture. Having visited the Tate so often, it was fun to be part of the display, not part of the audience, and to experience how Tanya works as an artist. When the doors opened in the afternoon, and random visitors trickled and sometimes flooded into our little studio, we had some good banter but also I think challenged some preconceptions about disability. It's always strange and a little disturbing to see how other people see you, but I look forward to seeing myself through Tanya's eyes."

You can see some of the photos of Tom's sitting on www.flickr.com/photos/tanyaraabe/sets/72157624484198929">flickr

So what's next on this fantastic journey? Well now I'm in my studio starting to paint the portraits of all these interesting people. My studio is based in my house in the scenic Shropshire Hills. It's very quiet so I can think solely about these characters as I get consumed by the paint. To get you all started on this part of the journey with me check out these photos on flickr of the progress so far. I think they are looking Rather good. What do you think? 

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 29 July 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 November 2010

Tanya Raabe has been running around the country with Paint!!!

I know I've been amiss and not keeping you all up to date with my Revealing Culture expeditions... well I've been trying to slow down with my roaming around the country running this and that workshop... it just keeps on going... ha... loving it!!!!!

Well I am settling into some serious painting in between running Life Drawing sessions in Manchester with Full Circle Arts and in Shrewsbury with DASh.

The Nude: Re:Dressed was a life drawing day exploring the notion and composition of a ‘Disabled Nude’. Is there such a thing as a disable nude or is there just a nude. Caroline Cardus was the life model and both sessions opened up a creative dialoge around disability cuture and the nude.

It seem that most life-drawers who attended the sessions felt that there was no difference in drawing a disabled nude or a non disabled nude but some people felt that it was good to draw as many different people as possible to get as wider view of the human form as possible.

These sessions have been open to all and so we have had a wide mix of disabled and non-disabled artists and drawers come together to share whats its like to see the naked and nude disabled model.  

I've really enjoyed these sessions as an artist making mixed-media drawings of my favourite subject The Nude alongside other like-minded people. Some comments from the drawer's:
"This has been the best day i've had in ages"
"i've enjoyed using lots of different materials"

Baroness Jane Campbell had her portrait drawn in Tate Modern last month. Well that was a real treat! She was another great subject... and brought along her Royal Seal along with her hat that she wore at all her demonstations in the eighties. I learned that she married a guy who went to my school - Welburn Hall School, a special one of course.....but since has sadly died. But hey the world is such a small place.

Baroness Jane says:
"The intereactive portrait painting session was great fun. I thought I would be bored and fidgity, but because I could talk with the artist, as she worked (and with the observers who joined us in the afternoon), I felt engaged and entertained. The experience was quite surreal at times, but I guess that's to be expected in the Tate Modern with Tanya Raabe at the easel. Her paintings certainly capture the more bizarre moments of my - and I suspect - other disabled people's lives!"

I've just been to the Norwich Disability Pride Festival... what a fab doo it was.....a few of the old timers Johnny Crescendo, Caroline Parker mixed in with new blood, Vince Laws and local artists and myself of course along with the Whos Who collection.

Big thanks to Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People and Ann Young - my bezzi mate - for putting on a great show.... great to see so many disabled people having presence and buzzing around... fab well done guys.

So back to the painting. 'R:Evolving' a participatory piece is coming together and looking Fab. The work explores the physicality and identity of four disabled women. It engages their perspective on the female figure in contemporary disability culture and the mainstream.

And I've started paintings of Sophie Morgan, Garry Robson, Michele Taylor... so its all go here in my studio. I'll be filming the paint process so look out for it on my youtube channel

Posted by , 8 June 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 31 October 2010

Tanya Raabe animates some drawings from the tour of Fittings and talks some more about Revealing Culture

The Making of 'Raspberry The Rehearsal', an animation made out of the drawings and sounds of the rehearsal, is finished and now on YouTube... I'm so getting into this techi netting think!!!

This artwork is touring with Raspberry by Fittings NOW....so book your tickets .....its a fab show!

After sleeping for a few days and regaining my youthfull looks.... mmm... I'm touring with the show and running workshops on the themes of Raspberry, Perfection and Perfectability... which one are you? Look out for more photos of the workshops on Flickr!

In between all this chaos and mayhem and endless meetings I'm beginning to set out and paint the new portraits..... earlier this week I was in Tate Modern researching Disability Culture in their artworks on display.

I studied and made drawings of Monet's 'Water Lillies' and Francis Bacon's 'Seated Figure' and engaged with the public about the disability context within these artworks.

I was thanked for the 'education'. Facts like Monet being visually impaired when he made this work was welcomed and a new dialogue was opened up about how his impairment might have influence the making of this artwork.

I also looked closely at Jackson Pollock's 'Number 14'. I was fascinated with his use of materials. Using an ink dropper is a technique I have used for many years when drawing. I wonder if I should develop this mark-making in my new portraits using oil paint.....free it up a bit... What do you think?

 

Posted by , 22 April 2010

Last modified by Anonymous, 23 April 2010

Tanya Raabe is looking for your ‘Public’s Choice' portrait to be made during DaDa International 2010.

Vote for your ‘Public’s Choice' portrait to be created by me in a public sitting in Tate Modern during DaDa International 2010.

Revealing Culture:HeadOn is an artwork and piece of research exploring identity, body image and disability culture, in contemporary portraiture and the nude.

I am delving into public art collections on display in Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern to devise a visionary portrait of disability culture, while creating ten new portraits of disabled cultural figures, past present and future.

The sittings for these portraits will take place in Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern over the next 12 months and will be open to the public to watch and question both the artist and the sitter about who and why they are doing this exciting project.

All you need to do is nominate either a disabled sports personality, or a disabled athlete to have their portrait painted as part of the Revealing Culture: Head On collection.

The criteria for your nominated person are that they are: disabled/deaf, influence disability sports and disability/deaf culture in the 21st century.

Email me your nomination to info@tanyaraabe.co.uk

Deadline for nominations is 13 June 2010

The Public’s Choice portrait will take place in a public live sitting in Tate Liverpool as part of DaDa Fest International 10, November 2010.

You can follow 'Revealing Culture' on Facebook

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 13 April 2010

Last modified by Anonymous, 13 April 2010

Tanya Raabe blogs her first rehearsal with Raspberry - the new production from Fittings Multimedia Arts

As associate artist in residence I've just spent a fascinating four days watching and drawing the rehearsal of 'Raspberry' - a co-production between Fittings Multimedia Arts, Sounds of Progress and the Tron Theatre, Glasgow.

"'Oi Oi! In a small wee town where tin was shaped and forged, a blacksmith had a daughter not quite the trim. Rita was a bit different."

"Now as far as the blacksmith was concerned this was a cosmic joke too far, so he set about changing things. Coz tin was his game, within which he’d achieved a modicum of fame, he tried to bend and shape her like a Uri Geller spoon."

I had a cracking time... huddled in a corner of the studio with my easel, papers and drawing/painting materials watching out for moments of passion, and sensitive scenes by the actors as they work through their roles.

It was fascinating seeing the performance unfold and develop in front of my eyes and to visualize what I saw in drawings and paintings. I had to work quickly to capture micro moments that are only usually seen by the actors and the director. It was also an insight to how the director and the actors/ musicians bounce off one another to create a believable moment that is so quickly for the moment....then puff, it's gone!

It was truly an extraordinary experience to  just 'BE' an artist, a painter, an illustrator of people, being other people. Capturing the rehearsal is something that I've been thinking of developing for a while and when I suggested it to Garry Robson, Director of Fittings, he thought it a 'marvellous ' idea.

So now I'm in the process of using the artwork, making a multimedia animation in collaboration with Neil Webber, a nationally acclaimed animator.

'Raspberry The Rehearsal' will screen in the foyer of all the venues as Raspberry tours Scotland and England. 

You can follow Raspberry on Facebook

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 27 March 2010

Last modified by Anonymous, 29 March 2010

Vote for The Public's Choice sports portrait

 

'The Public’s  Choice' is a chance for you to nominate either a disabled sports personality, or a disabled athlete or a disabled sports person, to have their portrait painted as part of the Revealing Culture: Head On collection. The criteria for your nominated person is that they identify themselves as a disabled person - you must state: Why you have nominated this person - What has this person done to develop disability sports within disability culture.

Email me your nomination to info@tanyaraabe.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/tanya.raabe

www.flickr.com/photos/tanyaraabe/

http://revealingcultureheadon.wordpress.com/

There will be a Judging panel of art and cultural experts who will support me to pick the Public’s Choice Portrait.

The Public’s Choice portrait will take place in a public live sitting in Tate Liverpool as part of DaDa Fest International 10, November 2010.

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 1 March 2010

Last modified by Anonymous, 2 March 2010

Tanya Raabe blogs more 'live sittings' at Tate Liverpool and Tate Modern

I’ve now portrayed another three disabled cultural figures in the last two weeks. Its been such a busy time I’ve not got around to telling you all about it, so here goes!

Sir Bert Massie made an interesting sitter and he had a lot of disability triumph stories to tell... how he got the law changed so that wheelchair users can now use black cabs when you need to. It's still easier said than done, as now we have to work on getting the cab drivers to let us in the cabs!

And he’s into history, so he told us the history of the wheelchair… mmm… I loved drawing Sir Bert as he made a fascinating subject. The public joined us in Tate Liverpool and also engaged on many levels with Sir Bert who enjoyed having his portrait made by other people.

Sir Bert Said this about his experience of having his portrait sitting. “Sitting for Tanya is an experience. There is no stress in the sitting and movement is allowed. Having everything one says recorded at the same time was a novel experience. Tanya probes away looking for nuggets of wisdom to enable her to get beneath the skin of the sitter. Did she succeed?  Only she knows."

"I was interested in the result. Is that me?  Do I approve? On what basis should I judge? Best not to judge but let be. Then the public arrived. Some to talk and stay out of the cold. Others to draw and what  interesting pictures resulted. All the drawings were clearly of me, but all very different. Maybe there are lots of me’s!"

"What I did find surprising is that I would happily have bought some of the pictures because they presented me in a way I have not seen before. Some drawings were basic but others displayed great skill and insight. Some stressed the wheelchair but most did not. Maybe the disabled model is becoming just 'the model'. That’s the power of art.”

Sir Bert also said that if I wasn’t a disabled artist he wouldn’t have sat for his portrait. It was a pleasure Sir Bert Thank you… I’ll see you in paint!

Debs Williams was my next sitter at Tate Modern. Debs is a producer and has her own theatre production company called Reality Productions. Deb was a talker and spoke in detail about her life’s works and her love of music and how music kept her sane!

We had a great rapor and this showed in my drawings. We opened the doors for the public to join us and boy did they come. It felt like a whirlwind. It was half term so we had lots of young families in with us drawing and engaging in conversation about disability culture

With a little persuasion adults joined in the drawing fun. Again we all felt like a ‘Real art exhibit.’ I’m getting used to this.

My next sitting was with Garry Robson, Artistic Director of Fittings MultiMedia Arts.

Garry’s portrait sitting took place in Tate Liverpool and was another smashing great hit! Garry posed nude for his portrait and so this was my first disabled male nude. I asked Garry if there was such a thing as a disabled male or female nude. After talking about the position of the nude in art, Garry answer that the nude is just the nude. What do you think?

I believe there is a disabled nude and that this is based upon identity as a disabled woman or man - something that we rarely address as disabled people. We don’t tend to gender ourselves when referring to disability identity. We refer to disabled people or a person with a disability. Where does the woman / man thing come in, with regard to our identity.

We also talked about which one would make the audience feel more uncomfortable. A disabled male nude or a disabled female nude! What do you think?

Heres what Garry said about his portrait sitting. “Coming from an era that invariably prefixes nude with “naughty” – thank you Mr Dury, Flanders and Swan and Carry On... I did indeed feel a little naughty and rather joyful in displaying my stick thin legs and accompanying bits to the whole wide world. Whether the world is ready for such a display is quite another matter…”

Again we had some great public drawers join us who engaged on many different levels, drawing and talking. See more photos on my flickr site

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 1 March 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 1 March 2010

Tanya Raabe offers an update on her gallery research as part of Revealing Culture:Head On

I've spent 2 days mooching around the galleries in Tate Liverpool and am picking up some interesting comments from the public reguarding the representation of disability culture.

Comments suggest that some members of the public feel representation already exists in the artworks on display.

Some young people had strong opinions about how disabled people are seen in the artworks on display.

They talked about the 'Dwarf on a Table' and 'Ghost' as being disabling. They felt that the texts alongside the artworks didn't reference the notion of disability - by not using the word 'disabled'.  

My next Live portrait sitting is at Tate Modern, Studio C on 4 May 2010  with Baroness Jane Campbell - see ya there.


To keep up to date with "Revealing Culture:HeadOn" go to http://www.facebook.com/tanya.raabe 

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 25 February 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 26 February 2010

Tanya Raabe blogs her Tate Modern sitting with Deb Williams

I'm back!!!! been on a bit of a journey... Debs Williams was my next sitting in Tate Modern and she was a brilliant subject with a great disability cultural history to tell.

This included her talking about her storytelling within her theatre company 'Reality Productions' and how she felt about where the female nude sits in art...

Having not previously asked Debs to pose nude for me... I don't know why I didn't ask her.....she says she would have considered it.

It struck us both that when the doors are open for the public to engage with us - that we had in fact created an art exhibit. As you enter the Reality Room there we are the 'Raabe and Sitter' exhibit awaits.

Forgot that it was half term and we were bombarded by young families, foreign students on holiday all wanting to draw us and we even managed to talk about disability art and culture.

Thank you Debs for being a great subject !

Posted by Tanya Raabe, 25 February 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 26 February 2010

Tanya Raabe writes about the Tate Modern sitting with Sophie Morgan, as part of her project 'Revealing Culture: Head On'

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. As I strained to reach the top of my drawing board with my paintbrush and ink dropper, the audience were mesmerised.

People joined me in drawing this spectacle. The day before I was wandering round the galleries researching artworks that depict disability in some way or other...I picked on 'The Pigeon Chested Man', a painting of a disabled man who was a performer in a circus in 1929. Many people didn't know that this is how many disabled people made their living and were in fact proud to do so...not such a strange, out-of-date phenomena.

My parents met in the circus in the 1960's. My mother was a trained ballet dancer who played a clown and my father was an animal trainer. Has anyone seen the 'Last American Freak Show?' This film is about aspects of disability culture, which are hidden and unspoken about. The public were fascinated - if not a little shocked by these facts.

So creating a spectacle-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 a go 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 worked outwardly.

Sophie was an interesting model and is very much a disability campaigner...The IMPERFECT campaign has been launched to challenge perceptions of disability. And Sophie would like to be more involved in disability arts. Let's welcome her.

See me on BBC Ouch!

One of my sitters - Dr Sonali Shah - has pulled out. So I'm looking for another disability cultural figure. If you have any ideas please email me at tanyaraabe@ic24.net The sitter should be disabled, and have influenced disability culture today, yesterday, or be new on the block, but not an artist.

Was Matisse a disabled Artist?

See y'all next time.

Posted by , 1 February 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 June 2010

Tanya Raabe makes her first research visit to Tate Liverpool as part of Revealing Culture:HeadOn

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 was a rare moment of joined-upness for me - body, emotions, intellect all congruent, all out there, all accepted and welcomed.’ I always feel moved as an artist and as a disabled woman when I’m sharing my womanhood, disability experiences and life with like-minded 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, 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 in front 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... mmm 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. Tanya

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 27 January 2010

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 10 May 2011