For The European Art Summit next week, we are welcoming artists and their support studios to Project Ability to meet each other, work together and build connections. The next artist we would like to introduce to you is…. Tanya Raabe-Webber!
Tanya Raabe-Webber is an acclaimed disabled/visual artist challenging the notion of identity within contemporary portraiture, often creating portraits of high profile disabled and diverse people during live sittings in high profile public art galleries and venues. She uses a mixture of traditional and digital painting and drawing techniques, often fusing the two together in an interactive live environment, inviting physical and online audiences to join in.
Her project Portraits Untold, delivered in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and the National Trust amongst others, is an ambitious and unique project exploring and celebrating the diversity of our common humanity through a series of live portrait sittings with high profile sitters in well-known venues, were also live streamed to on-line audiences.
Live portrait sittings see RAABE-WEBBER in conversation with the sitters and in some cases collaborating, as they explore what it is to be human through the stories of their lives and work. The conversations also explore how art and the artistic process is central to the representation, discussion and our thinking on cultural diversity and contemporary society.
This project resulted in future incarnations with Apple, The Big Draw, BBC4, National Trust & Hull City of Culture.
Raabe-Webber is also an establish leader and mentor to other artists and a specialist in supporting learning disability artists and artists practice. In 2014 she presented a collaborative research into supporting learning disabled artists with Glasgow based Project Ability at the ‘Contemporary Outsider Art: The Global Context’ conference in Australia, followed by being artist-in-residence with Project Ability, as part of their ‘International Summit of Learning Disabled Artists’. She became an associate artist of Project Ability and continues collaborate on many occasions.
In 2015 she set up ArtStudio01 (AS01): an inclusive artists collective in Shrewsbury now supporting 11 learning disabled artists in their creative and professional practice. This included an artist in residence at ArtStudio01 with Project Ability Artist Cameron Morgan In April this year.
In 2016, Raabe-Webber was the lead artist on ‘OutsiderXchanges,’ (ACE funded) with Venture Arts and Castlefield Gallery in Manchester, where learning disabled artists were paired with contemporary artists to learn about collaborative arts practice.
In 2018 she received ACE funding to support the development of this studio as an inclusive progressive studio collective. Through this process she has visited 10 art studios for learning disabled artists across England and 1 in Finland, exploring studio models, organisational structures, funding strategies, exhibiting opportunities and contemporary learning disability arts practice.
The findings of this research was shared at the European Outsider Art Association conference ‘E-Quality’ in Stockholm in May 2019, whilst undertaking a ‘Portraits Untold’ event, engaging conference participants in conversation about the themes of the conference. E-Quality.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what new Creative and culture exchanges emerge during the summit and to share some of my newest work with everyone.”