The 5-Minute Interview, Alison Lapper Artist and Model: 'Some People Say the Sculpture Is Ugly. Their Prejudices Spill Out'

By Duff, Oliver | The Independent (London, England), September 14, 2005 | Go to article overview
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The 5-Minute Interview, Alison Lapper Artist and Model: 'Some People Say the Sculpture Is Ugly. Their Prejudices Spill Out'


Duff, Oliver, The Independent (London, England)


'Alison Lapper Pregnant',

a 12-ton, 3.5m-high marble sculpture of the disabled artist, by Marc Quinn, now resides on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square. It will be unveiled on Thursday.

What are your thoughts on becoming Lord Nelson's first female companion?

I'm very excited about it. This is history in the making: never before has someone with a disability " let alone someone with a disability who is naked and eight months pregnant " been put in such a public place and portrayed in such a positive way. The sculpture is 16ft tall so you can't avoid the issue. There is so much prejudice and taboo around sexuality, disability, femininity and pregnancy, but Marc's work tackles it all. Some people have said it is ugly but when you ask why all their prejudices spill out. They soon stop mid-sentence and are forced to think again.

How do you feel about having posed for Marc Quinn now that you have seen the finished work?

I love it. If I hadn't been happy he'd soon have known about it, I'm a feisty woman. Although when my five-year-old son Parys saw the sculpture in Italy, he said: 'But where's me, mummy?' I explained to him that he was in my tummy, but he still wants his face on it.

Do you get fed up with people mentioning your 'resilience in the face of adversity'?

Oh yeah. It is very patronising. The headlines have been awful: 'Amazing Alison', 'Lapper Abandoned'.

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