Largest Portrait Collection of Paralympic Heroes Past & Present - RSA

Largest Portrait Collection of Paralympic Heroes Past & Present

Fellowship news

  • Arts and society
  • Fellowship

Paralympians are responsible for winning seven times more gold medals than Olympians in a third of the time, yet little documentation of their achievement exists. Hackney-based photo-artist Clare Newton FRSA set out to make photographic portraits of the many GB Paralympians, whether veterans or current champions, whose contributions to society are hugely important on so many different levels.

With so much enthusiasm by the Para Athletes, the project has grown considerably from the first 50 portraits of great heroes to be exhibited in February, with a further 50 waiting to be completed. 

This exhibition gives a new twist to portraiture by relating to the Olympic roots of ancient Grecian mythology and Paralympic legends in a thrilling two-part exhibition. In a series of remarkable photographs, many of which are life-size, the exhibition sets the athletes against backdrops of the stories from ancient Greece that have captivated us for centuries and still reflect the wonders of human endeavour in today’s world. Paralympians are some of today’s heroes, overcoming difficulties to win a place in history, yet few of us know who they are and what their personal story is.  This new exhibition connects these heroes and their stories with Greek mythology, bringing alive their extraordinary sporting achievements, and enlightening and inspiring you.

 Para Olympian posed as Andromeda

The artist behind the project, Clare Newton, says, “I want to provoke a feeling of empowerment in my pictures.  Each portrait is about a special person, who has achieved such incredible goals no matter what - it is important for us to recognise their achievements. We are also empowered by recognition, influencing the way we think about ourselves.”

The inspiring journey to meet and photograph these heroes has uncovered the extraordinary undertakings that each had to achieve in order to become a champion. The first eight artworks were originally shown in Canary Wharf to celebrate Rio 2016. Since then the exhibition has grown and now, for the first time, is shown in its near entirety. 

 Para Olympian Lorrain Lambert

New Fellow Clare Newton would greatly appreciate the help of members to find additional museums and public spaces to expand the project with new venues and enable the project to tour the UK, highlighting and paying tribute to the UK’s incredible Para Champions.

Please contact Clare:
[email protected]
07887 564 012

Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury, HP20 2QP:  11 February – 13 May 2017 

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