Meet the Artists
Born in Burton-on-Trent in 1965, Alison Lapper spent her childhood and teenage years in specialist institutions due to her having phocomelia - a condition which resulted in her being born without arms and shortened legs. Not one to let this hold her back, she moved to London at aged 19 where she lived like any other teenager in the city - learning to drive, going clubbing, getting married and obtaining her Pre-Foundation and Foundation from The Heatherley School of Fine Art.
Lapper graduated from the University of Brighton in 1993 with a First Class degree in Fine Art; she was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate from them again in 2014 and is still regularly involved with them as an alumnus. Alison is also a full member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (AMFPA). In 2003, she was awarded an MBE for her services to art.
Alison has featured as a subject and presented in many documentaries throughout her life, notably in 2016, co-presenting ‘No Body’s Perfect’ with Rankin for BBC and ‘Passions: William Blake by Alison Lapper’ in 2017 for Sky Arts. As a well-known public figure, she regularly gives talks about her experiences. Visiting schools and colleges for children of all ages exploring diversity, acceptance and body image through talking about her life and art practice.
In 2000 Alison gave birth to her son Parys, of whom she called her greatest achievement. During this time, she was approached by sculptor Marc Quinn and his controversial statue 'Alison Lapper Pregnant' was created. It spent 18 months on the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square in 2005, raising disability awareness and prompting widespread public debate. On the 13th August 2019, after several years of suffering with mental health issues, Parys tragically died of an accidental drug overdose. Devastated by her loss, Alison continues to campaign for people with mental health and drug issues - most recently with her project: The Drug Of Art.
Lapper lives in Worthing, East Sussex with her husband, Si.
Rankin is a British photographer, publisher, and film director. Alongside being head of the eponymous agency RANKIN, which hosts an 80+ strong team that puts strategy, creative and production all under one roof.
Through RANKIN, he is best known for work that is on the cultural cusp and leading future trends: producing rule-breaking campaigns for brands such as Rolls Royce, Unilever, L’Oreal and Samsonite; creating wide reaching projects for charities including Women’s Aid and Macmillan; and shooting music videos for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Kelis.
As a photographer Rankin's portfolio ranges from portraiture to documentary. He has shot The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Kate Moss, Kendall Jenner and The Queen to name only a few.
As a publisher, Rankin co-founded the seminal magazine Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack in 1991, and has since published the likes of AnOther and AnOther Man, alongside over 40 books and the biannual fashion and culture print and digital platform, Hunger.
His photography has been published everywhere from his own publications to Elle, Vogue, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, and Wonderland, and exhibited in galleries globally, including MoMA, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.
Rankin lives in London with his wife Tuuli and their dogs.
Marc Quinn, born 1964, is one of the leading artists of his generation. His sculptures, paintings and drawings explore what it means to be human in the 21st century. His work connects frequently and meaningfully with art history, from modern masters right back to antiquity. Quinn came to prominence in 1991 with his sculpture Self (1991), a cast of the artist’s head made from eight pints of his own frozen blood. While much of his early work focused on explorations of self, Quinn soon became fascinated in reflecting the experiences of other people, questioning value, perception and the fault lines of society. Critically acclaimed works include Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), exhibited on the Fourth Plinth of London’s Trafalgar Square; Siren (2008), a solid gold sculpture of Kate Moss shown in the British Museum coinciding with the 2008 financial breakdown, posing questions of value and belief systems in society; Breath (2012), a colossal replica of Alison Lapper Pregnant commissioned for the 2012 London Paralympics opening ceremony; and Self Conscious Gene (2019) a 3.5 metre bronze sculpture of ‘Zombie Boy’ Rick Genest, now on permanent display at the Science Museum, London. Over the last decade, Quinn’s work has become increasingly engaged with the media, current affairs and world events. History Paintings (2009-present) is his ten-year series of hyperreal oil paintings of pivotal moments in recent history, drawn directly from press photography. During the Covid-19 pandemic, as news cycles accelerated, Quinn created HISTORYNOW (2020-present), a series of paintings derived from iPhone screenshots of news stories and Instagram posts.
Since 2015, Quinn has developed several not-for-profit projects, which seek to raise awareness of the ongoing global refugee crisis and raise funds for the International Rescue Committee and further refugee organisations. This includes 100 Heads (2019-present), a significant series of sculptures, comprising one hundred concrete portrait busts of refugees living today.
Quinn’s work is included in collections around the world, including Tate, London (UK), Metropolitan Museum, New York (USA), Guggenheim, New York (USA), SFMOMA, San Francisco (USA), Fondazione Prada, Milan (Italy), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (Netherlands) and the Centre Pompidou, Paris (France).