Featured Artist of VFH2020 : Grant Lambie

Grant Lambie, 52-year-old, severely dyslexic, was brought up in United Kingdom. He didn’t talk until the age of 6 and read his very first book when he was 16 years old. In spite of the fact that he was placed in the base classes in school, with a high IQ and determination to study he moved his direction up and got promoted in higher classes over the years.


After finishing school, Grant trained as a nurse for people with intellectual disabilities. During the training, he attended a talk by German carers who visited England, during which they highlighted that they noticed how elderly intellectually challenged people were being cared for in England, whereas there were hardly any elderly people with intellectual disabilities in Germany. Having completed his training, Grant worked as a staff nurse for a while then moved on to providing home help for people with disabilities, his work got him in touch with a variety of people with challenging behaviors.


Aspiring to do something apart from nursing, he sought a place in an art course at Goldsmiths Art college, where he pursued a degree in Fine Arts. He practised as an artist for some time but moved back to working with people with learning disabilities after a while. He developed a keen interest in young people’s physical play that helped them in developing and enhancing their locomotive skills. Grant spent the next 15 years enabling young people to design their own plays.


The fact that there was a noticeable absence of elderly intellectually challenged people in Germany intrigued him to research more about the reasons behind this fact. He was triggered to learn that approximately 200,000 to 300,000 intellectually challenged people were murdered in Germany between the year 1930 to 1945. This made a huge impact in Grant’s mind and he decided to take the support of art to express this harsh reality.


Grant submitted a powerful piece of artwork which represented this dark history of mankind for the VOSAP ‘Art from Heart’ contest. He was deeply inspired by an art piece which is originally a map from 1939 that depicted the gas chamber sites, the places where these people were mass murdered. Being emotionally moved by this artwork, Grant created his own piece of art on similar lines. He used hessian fabric which is considered the lowest quality of material to metaphorically compare it with the demeaning acts of humankind.

Through this powerful art piece, Grant effectively used supporting data to narrate the story, communicate the seriousness of the issues and sensitize the viewers about this chapter of reality human history.


Grant majorly used two books as his references and research about the incidents:

  1. Death and Deliverance, Euthanasia in Germany 1900-1945, by Michael Burleigh, 2002.
  2. Allowing the destruction of Life Unworthy of Life: Its measure and form, reprinted in 2012 (first written 1920), by Karl Binding, and Alfred Hoche.


Grant learned about the ‘Art from Heart’ contest from curator space, an art opportunities web page; his years of experience working with people with disabilities motivated him to participate and be part of the cause.


Grant thinks the VOSAP initiative is brilliant and an excellent effort. The VOSAP team wishes Grant the very best for his future endeavours and hope to see him impacting minds with his powerful artwork.


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