Nick Hackworth

Alison Lapper, Eyestorm Gallery

Essays & Reviews Evening Standard

Alison Lapper, made famous by Marc Quinn, whose 15ft marble sculpture of her eight-and-a-half- months pregnant will soon adorn the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, has been an artist for more than a decade.

She is also born without arms and with shortened legs. Her art consists of the photographic documentation of this fact, being mostly nude self-portraits. They intend to celebrate difference in a world increasingly swamped by commercially inspired images of a homogenised idea of physical perfection. As such they are welcome, though as art they suffer, perhaps, from being too literal.

Only in one piece, Angel, has Lapper significantly modified the image, adding angel wings to her back and a string of roses that frame the piece, which sends up the PC reflex to regard disability with automatic reverence.

In a series of self-portraits with Parys, her baby son, she has made the more minor change of colouring the arms that hold her son bright pink, highlighting their ambiguous relationship to Lapper, being simultaneously intrusive and supportive.

A final series of works are head- and-shoulder shots of Lapper pulling various faces and in several poses, some silly, some dignified, reminiscent of so-called “Body Art” from the Sixties that highlighted the highly political nature of the human body and its depiction.

Until 12 June. Information: 020 7659 0860.