Raffaella (née von Stempel, b.1992 in London) is a registered blind artist, designer, activist and public speaker.
Raffaella aims to demonstrate to the fully sighted how having a Visual impairment is no restriction to being an artist. Indeed, it is her intention, through painting and collage, to actively challenge the viewer’s preconceptions as to what a visually impaired artist can create and therefore perceive! To see what is absent and to hopefully appreciate the greater richness and understanding that comes from a diverse cross-section of contemporary life. Raffaella firmly believes that increasing exposure to different perspectives and experiences is key to breaking down stigmas, barriers, and limitations in society.
Painting is Raffaella’s primary method of artistic expression. As a fine artist who happens to have a visual impairment, Raffaella works with essential lines and tactile marks to describe her subjects. Raffaella paints moving her whole body around the canvas, she demonstrates her visual world with gestural marks often scratched and sponged across the canvas in both enjoyment and frustration.
Raffaella paints the essentials she sees; her work is a release of emotions and expressions. She paints from her experience and the realities of having a visual impairment through her use of soft dusty colours and rough tactile surfaces.
Raffaella’s painting is spontaneous and light with a fluidity that suits acrylic, charcoal drawing, collage and occasionally oil. She works with her hands as they guide her as a visual aid. Raffaella has a limited amount of time when painting before her eyes fatigue. She uses this to her strength, to impart only critical marks and strokes to the canvas.
First publicly exhibiting at the 2021 Royal Academy of Arts' Summer Exhibition, curated by Yinka Shonibare, then following numerous group exhibitions and a successful 2023 solo exhibition at Orleans House Gallery museum in London. Bianca Raffaella currently lives and works in Margate as part of the inaugural Tracey Emin Artist Residency at TKE Studios.