Meet the Artist: Leanne Beetham
I’m Leanne Beetham and I’m a mouth artist and photographer. The condition I have is called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and it basically means that my muscles haven’t developed properly and it also causes stiff curve joints so I’ve got a curvature in my spine and it results in me not being able to walk or use my limbs. I’ve been painting with my mouth since I was about three-years-old basically, I just asked my Grandma for a magazine and a pen one day and she got it and I started drawing away and ever since then, I’ve just really enjoyed doing it, I’ve always, it’s one of my biggest passions. I graduated from my Bishop Burton course in 2009 in Applied Animal Behaviour and Training and it’s really helped me to understand my subject in more detail. My favourite subject is animals and I love learning about anything to do with the psychology and like the physiology of the animals and it’s helped me to get a lot more detail and taught me more observational skills. Photography is a massive part of my artwork because it’s what I use as my reference material for getting the accuracy and capturing the animals personality and I couldn’t live without it. I love doing it. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else and I think I’m just one of the most lucky people to get to do what I like for a career. I travel all over the UK doing talks and live mouth painting demonstrations. They can vary from comic cons bike rallie’s to local colleges and schools to talk to the students if we do primary schools we get the kids to paint with their mouths and things like that as well which is quite good fun. The most important thing for me about my work would be the fact that it’s not only just that I enjoy doing it but I can send a message as well and I can raise awareness about the abilities of disabled people and also raising awareness about the importance of conservation and like, looking after our natural environment and things like that.