My name is Leanne Beetham. I am a disabled artist and photographer who paints using my mouth. My artworks normally portray the animals and scenes which I have photographed using specially adapted equipment. Due to my disability (Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita), I am often restricted to photographing captive and domesticated animals.
I wish to break free of these restrictions in order to further develop myself as an artist and photographer. In order to do this I am planning an artistic endeavour known as the "Fur, Feather's, & Wild Endeavours" project (or "Project Africa" for short). This will take me to Africa, where I will finally be able to photograph and paint truly wild animals. This will allow me to capture genuine wild behaviours and scenes.
As a result of this project, I hope to raise awareness of what it's like to travel as a disabled individual (by filming the whole journey & what's involved), hold my own independent exhibition( using the artworks and photographs I have created), whilst also raising awareness of the abilities of disabled people, and promoting the importance of wildlife conservation. I also hope to educate the public by holding talks about my work and the project; this would include a live drawing demonstration, videos, talks, and an educational presentation about the trip to Africa (including my personal experiences as a physically disabled traveller).
This endeavour has already been turned into a customised photography travel package, with the help of a specialist company (incorporating all specialized equipment and adaptations I will need to make the trip possible). Unfortunately, I still face one major hurdle - FUNDING! Due to my disability I require constant assistance to do daily tasks - from getting in and out of bed, to going to toilet, or just getting a drink. This means that in order to make this project a success, I must also be able to fund the travel expenses of my two Personal Assistants and the hire of specialist equipment. This makes the project of much higher cost than it would be to a single able-bodied individual.To achieve this once-in-a-lifetime goal, I must fundraise a grand total of: £12,240
My sincerest thank you to those who have have donated so far!
You can find out more about the artist & project at all of the following websites...
Project Africa Page: http://www.lippyart.co.uk/ffwe.html