Possibly the most iconic square in London is Trafalgar Square. A place where the National Gallery is located with its countless works of art. And in the center of the square, Nelson's Column rises gracefully surrounded by other figures that allude to the British heroes of the past who won a thousand and one battles.
Alison Lapper by Marc Quinn
Well, in Trafalgar Square there are several pedestals dedicated to these heroes, but there is one called the fourth pillar that was empty since the 19th century, and for a few years it has temporarily housed current works. And there remained between 2005 and 2007 this huge marble in which we see the nude figure ofAlison Lapperduring her pregnancy phase
This was the first work to be exhibited in such a place. Undoubtedly a true heroine of our time. Alison Lapper is a disabled woman who is missing her arms and her legs are very short. She was practically abandoned at birth in 1965. She was educated in a school for the handicapped and always showed artistic concerns. And so today, she has become a painter who performs her work with hands and feet, becoming recognized and even she has received the decoration of Member of the British Empire.
However, when she became pregnant, she was again abandoned by her partner. And yet she continued with the pregnancy with all the effort and riskswhat it implied. A vital epic echoed by one of the most renowned artists on the current British scene, the sculptor Marc Quinn. He made this huge marble in his honor. A work of more than 360 centimeters in height and almost 12 tons of weight.
So a monumental tribute like this and in such a square in London, in some way is a tribute from the city to disabled people who fight every day with pride and sometimes rebellion. On the other hand, it is still a review of the classic concept of beauty. An idea that Alison Lapper herself contributes on the marble of her colleague. Especially reflecting on the fact that many classical sculptures such as the Venus de Milo are icons of beauty even though they have no arms.
Without a doubt, the approach was very daring and worthy of appreciation. Although not everything is praise. The work has also been criticized for its appearance, and it is that it addresses certain taboos, which sometimes society does not want to consider. A theme in which this artist is a repeat offender, since he has been inspired numerous times for his sculptures in other people with disabilities, and has even made works that represent placentas of beings in formation. Either he made a bust out of his own coagulated blood
In short, a provocative artist, and in this case he did it with a work about someone common and also disabled who was going to stand next to the glories of the past. But the figure of Alison Lapper should tell us more about the present and even about the future, that of her son.