Alison Lapper is a celebrated artist, best known for being the subject of a very famous piece of art, a Marc Quinn sculpture which caused uproar at the time depicting her ‘limbless body’, no arms and very short legs, heavily pregnant with her son Parys. The statute rested on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar square and proved quite the subversive neighbour to the other male war heroes depicted on the other plinths. Parys was born able bodied and healthy and his arrival was the beginning of nearly two decades of Alison having to prove herself capable as a Mother to the social services and to the general public. In the Summer of 2019, Parys died at the age of 19 following struggles with mental health and addiction.
In this raw conversation with Annie, she talks about her mother’s rejection of her as a baby, her childhood in care and the challenges she has faced in society as a disabled person and mother. Alison speaks about her unique bond with Parys and the issues surrounding his death, including the changes that she thinks we need to help those living with disabilities or mental health illnesses. Alison is remarkable with a strength of will, humour and determined spirit like no other.
If you would like to find out more about Alison you can go to:
Facebook: Ali Lapper
Alison is a full member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, that would be fantastic, website link - mfpa.uk
Warning: This episode discusses mental illness including depression and addiction, drug misuse and has references to suicide.
Should you be affected by any of the issues raised in this episode, In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html
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