Tanya Raabe in residency - Week 5

Tanya Raabe spent five weeks in residency in our studios, and quickly became an integral part of the Project Ability family.  It was a pleasure to see the artist at work, before, during and after the Summit, and to see her monumental triptych take shape and evolve. The piece is not only a striking artwork, but also a testimony of her time spent both as an observer and an active participant in the Summit. The work produced during the residency will be on show in our gallery in January next year, and Tanya will be back in September for a week. 

My last week in residency with Project Ability has come round so quickly and people are asking me how much longer am I going to be here and when I say I'll be going on Friday there's an almighty gasp as we talk about whether I'll finish the triptych panoramic painting off in time!

It’s a race against time without comprise to the painting.

Firstly I wanted to pull all three paintings together and to give them a commonality in their look. So I approached colour combinations and brush strokes in a similar way over all three canvases. This helps to create colour and painting relationships between all three paintings.

I needed to portray each and every person represented in the paintings as complete individuals, highlighting their uniqueness, identity, physicality and their artistry. I used colour, paint texture and line to define their faces as they themselves painted, made their art and joined in conversations about wanting their art to be exhibited and showcased in mainstream art galleries.

During my last week it was very quiet in the studio as there were no Aspire artists making their work. This was quite strange because when everyone was in, I have felt myself being influence in my painting by the many ways different Aspire artists make their work. I listened intently and subconsciously too to the conversations and artistic exchanges that the artists had amongst themselves and with the tutors about what they were making their art about. This also influenced me as I painted away.

But despite being in a quiet studio and missing the sounds, this gave me the opportunity to really get stuck in and I was able to paint fast and furious and to be absorbed by the painting over the last few days.

I can honestly say this has been one of the best times of my life as an artist. I feel very privileged to have been able to paint portraits of some of the Aspire artists and the Summit artists and make my art in the Project Ability Art Studio with such accomplished and talented learning disabled artists.

As an associate artist of Project Ability I shall be back! There are so many more faces to paint and moments of artistry to capture that I'm sure that my paint brush won't be still for long!

As I haven't quite finished my triptych panoramic painting, I shall be back in September for a week to add some final touches.

In the meantime I have recorded many short time lapse films of the making of the triptych which I shall post up on my YouTube  https://m.youtube.com/user/crutchtanyaraabe so watch out for them.

I hope you all will carry on watching, liking and commenting on my new projects coming up on my Facebook and Twitter.

I'd like to thank everyone at Project Ability for your support during my Residency.

Special Thanks to:

Lorraine as my PA, access and archivist
Celine as assistance and documentary photography during the International Learning Disability Arts Summit
The International visitors who sat for their portraits including Vinnie and Ramona from Atelier 5, Declan from KCAT and many more.
Other sitters who sat for me at the Summit Event
Cameron, Jonathan and Steven Aspire Artists who drew my portrait and critiqued insightfully on my paintings on several occasions which inspired and influence the making of the summit triptych
Aspire artists who I portrayed during week 1 of my residency as they worked on their own work

Last but not least a big thanks to everyone who made it on to my final triptych #summitPortrayed painting.

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