Alison Lapper shot to international fame when she became the subject of the sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant by Marc Quinn, which was displayed on the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square between September 2005 and late 2007.
Alison’s public profile increased even more in 2012 when a replica of the sculpture featured in the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony. Alison was born without arms and with shortened legs, a condition known as phocomelia.
After graduating with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Brighton in 1994, she set out to question physical normality and beauty using photography, digital imaging and painting. Alison paints expertly with her mouth, and she is a member of the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists of the World. In 2003, she was awarded an MBE for services to art. She features, with her son Parys, in the BBC TV series Child of Our Time.
In July 2014 Alison was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Brighton, an event at which the university’s vice chancellor proclaimed that Alison “was a titan of the human spirit”.
The top ‘Power 100 2016’ were announced at a gala evening on in London where Justin Tomlinson MP, Minister for Disabled People, said: “I fully support and commend the Power 100 for raising the profile of disabled people and their achievements. From paralympians to broadcasters, and from educators to business people, this list reflects the huge range of talent among disabled people in all areas of life and work.”