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Image: Lucy Jones' Tom Shakespeare: Intellect, with Wheels
News

Lucy Jones' Tom Shakespeare: Intellect, with Wheels acquired by the National Portrait Gallery

Lucy Jones' painting Tom Shakespeare: Intellect, with Wheels, 2017, which depicts social scientist and bioethicist Tom Shakespeare, has been accepted into the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Jones describes Shakespeare as a good friend, “a hero of mine.” This admiration is evident in this full-body portrait, which emanates charisma, neither hiding nor focussing on his disability. Jones explains that her friendship with Shakespeare has been vital to her: “It was extraordinary to be introduced to Tom and his fight to initiate a new social construct of disability awakened subconscious ideas of mine that have helped me situate myself in recent years.”
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Throughout her career Jones has often said that she doesn't want to be categorised as a disabled artist but rather "an artist who happens to be disabled." In response to this, Shakespeare states: “While respecting Lucy’s perspective, I want to claim her as a role model for what disabled people can do… I want to say that humanity is diverse, our experiences and physiques and mentalities are diverse, and that this is reflected in our lives, and to a certain extent in our achievements… Someone like Lucy Jones has struggled against the current to become a successful artist, in ways that a privileged non-disabled person who follows a traditional route to fame has never dreamt of. We need to remove the barriers so that more people have a chance of going to art school, of being nurtured, of flourishing and expressing themselves in the mainstream.”

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