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Tanya Raabe's Blog - disability arts online
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DaDaFest International 2010 portraits and more... / 6 December 2010

tanya draws Sirwillian laurence

Tanya draws Sir William Laurence

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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.

Keywords: dadafest,visual arts,the culture show