Archive of Author | Rachel Gadsden

Rachel Gadsden is a multi-award winning visual and performance artist who has a BA and MA in Fine Art. Her artistic career began with the support of a Princes Youth Business Trust Award (1988). Gadsden was commended in the 2011 International Freedom to Create competition and Global Alchemy is now permanently exhibited in Mandela’s Walk to Freedom in Cape Town.

Gadsden was appointed the first contemporary artist-in-residence (since Holbein) at Hampton Court Palace (2007 – 2008) where she undertook a major year-long residency contributing to all aspects of the education and outreach programmes at the Palace, and created Unravelling Threads of History a comprehensive solo exhibition presented at the Clore Gallery Hampton Court Palace, November 2008.

In 2009 – 2010 Gadsden became the first artist for Parliamentary Outreach, undertaking Breaking Barriars and the Rethink Parliament Projects and Commission leading up to the National 2010 General Election.

In 2011 Gadsden was awarded two major international commissions, Unlimited Global Alchemy and Starting Line to create broad-reaching artistic exhibitions, performances and film for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

In March 2013 Gadsden was selected to represented UK, creating a major exhibition of paintings “This Breathing World” for “Qatar – UK Year of Culture 2013”, for British Council and the first ever Art and Disability Festival in the Middle East. The exhibition was presented at at Katara Cultural Village, Doha Qatar, and was formally opened by HRH Prince Charles and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

Gadsden’s 2019 commissions included a major artwork and film for FIFA and Hyundai for the 2019 Women’s World Cup, Paris, she was invited to be the key note speaker for the Arts Activated Conference, Sydney Australia, has created a collaborative project for ADA Hong Kong, and has exhibited for British Council in Palestine and in Jordan for University of Birmingham.

She was awarded the National Diversity Award 2013: Positive Role Model for Disability, shortlisted for the European Diversity Awards 2014  – Hero of the Year and was awarded BreakThrough UK Award 2014 – Influencing disabled people’s participation in society.

Articles with Rachel Gadsden

Considering the Human Condition

“At the core of my practice are concerns as to how humankind comes to terms with mortality: by unearthing the unseen, making the invisible visible. Part of that process is about being open about impairment, and working to empower others through creativity to find a voice with which to challenge stigma. Ultimately my work is underpinned by themes of fragility and resilience, a shared and positive sense of survival in the face of chronic health conditions, and the politics and myths surrounding disability.”

Rachel Gadsden is a British artist who is exhibited internationally and who works across the mainstream and disability art sectors, presenting cross-cultural visual dialogues that consider the most profound notions of what it is to be human.