Statues…That Reminds Me

Posted October 19th, 2008 by Anthony

From what I can tell from this side of the pond, there was a huge hue and cry when it was announced in 2005 that a sculpture of a naked, pregnant, disabled woman would be on display in Trafalgar Square for 18 months.

Alison Lapper Pregnant in Trafalgar Square, 2005

I can’t imagine a statue like this in a public space in the US. Any aspect of the sculpture would doom it to remaining under covers: naked, pregnant, or disabled. Although sharing the square with Alison is Lord Nelson and his missing leg. I think it’s OK to have a disabled war hero who appears pretty much able-bodied on public display just about anywhere.
The piece really tickles me. It’s rounded form echoes Henry Moore’s soft curves in hard marble. It’s brazen in its nakedness and pregnancy. And, more than anything the statue depicts an obviously disabled person. The head is lifted high without the shame and fear so many of us hold inside ourselves. And, it’s an attractive, effective work of art. What more can one ask except that it would be in the US?
According to BNET the sculpture was bought by BBC’s chair and might go on world tour at the end of 2008. (They had better hurry, 2008 is almost over.)

[The image above appears in Ouch…it’s a disability thing, an online newsletter published by the BBC. It’s a wonderful, irreverent publication with some of the cheekiness of the late, lamented Mouth and Disability Rag.]

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