Since her pregnancy and the birth of her son Parys, she has produced a body of work, using photography and digital imaging, which aims to challenge society's preconceptions about motherhood and disability. Her work and life story have attracted considerable media attention. She has been featured on many national and international television and radio programmes, and has been documented in many newspaper and magazine articles. The documentary Alison’s Baby, about her life since Parys was born, has been shown worldwide and won the Prix Italia and Prix Leonardo. "When you see him playing up at that playschool, people tut or give me dirty looks. But I'm thinking: what do you want me to do? I can't go and pick him up. He's had to learn that if I say no I mean it. That was all part of my voice control training with Parys. It was really hard, but I had to stick with it and it was a battle of wills. He's really stubborn - like his mother!"
Alison Lapper (UK) Alison and Parys
Alison Lapper (UK)
Alison Lapper, British artist, was born in 1965 without arms and shortened legs, the result of a medical condition called phocomelia. The first 19 years of her life were spent in residential institutions for people with impairments. She studied first at the Heatherley School of Fine Art and then at the University of Brighton, where she graduated with a First Class Honours degree in 1994. She has since exhibited work in group shows and solo exhibitions, which have been well documented by the media.Her work uses a variety of media including painting, photography, digital imaging and installation to explore her subject, which is often herself and the ways in which she is viewed by others. Her work questions notions of physical normality and beauty, in a society that considers her to be deformed because she was born without arms.