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Miraculous Draught of Fishes (Hampton Court Palace) - Multi layered mixed media painting depicting the Fire of 1986 at Hampton Court Palace and a psychological journey through the Baroque Palace.

Rachel Gadsden

"As an artist you are continually striving to expand your art practice and philosophy to enable you to reach wider audiences and to evolve and develop as a practitioner and so I was delighted to receive the email informing me that I had been selected for Sync Leadership South East. This will be an exciting opportunity to meet and be inspired by like minded individuals and I am looking forward to the exploring and instigating the challenges of leadership."

Rachel Gadsden has a BA and MA in Fine Art and is a successful contemporary British visual artist, who exhibits internationally and works across mainstream and disability art sectors.

Mursi Boy - A portrait painting of a young Mursi tribal Boy with ritual head dress.

Rachel creates artwork that uses a psychogeographic methodology. This approach has taken her to the streets of Bogotá in Colombia; to the confining walls of a young offenders institution; to a deserted colliery in South Wales, where the failure of industry and the poverty threatened the moral fibre of the community; to Ruthin Gaol (1404), to the derelict Cane Hill and Denbigh Asylum Hospitals, where souls and voices of the past still inhabit the ruins; and to Hampton Court Palace.

Rachel explains more about her work to produce art from the ruins of North Wales Hospital, Denbigh...
Photo of Rachel drawing in the Turbine hall at Tate Modern Gallery
Breaking Barriers Parliament - A narrative multi layered mixed media painting on canvas showing images depicting the activity of the Suffragette and Suffragist Movement, the Houses of Parliament and expressionistic drawings of figures.

“I am a natural communicator and the human condition is my subject, and through my role as an artistic leader I embrace the position of being able, through artistic creativity, to express narratives that explore universal issues of vulnerability and survival. It is through both the observation and consideration of these values that audience embrace issues of disability and how our society can accommodate and accept everyone.”

The experience of working amongst these rich and diverse landscapes where individuals from each of the communities generously shared their emotions and life stories has enriched Rachel’s understanding and has helped her perhaps, to expose a little more of what it is to be human. It is this knowledge that Rachel brings to the artwork, a universal experience.

A series of Rachel’s drawings were exhibited at the Dostoyevsky Museum, St Petersburg, Russia in 1999. “Wasteland” was awarded the Most Popular Painting Prize in the Hunting Art Competition 2003; subsequent painting awards have included an Arts Admin Award 2004, Dada Visual Artist of the Year 2005, Shrewsbury International Painting Prize 2006, Holton Lee International Disability Arts Prize 2007, Momentum Arts Council UK and Dada-South Bursary 2009.

Struggle Penallta Colliery -  A rich jewel like coloured narrative multi layered mixed media painting on canvas of a struggle between 2 wrestling men within the Turbine Hall of Penallta Colliery.

In 2007 Rachel was appointed Historic Royal Palaces first Artist in Residence at Hampton Court Palace for a year long residency and solo Exhibition. In 2009 Rachel was appointed the first artist to work with Parliamentary Outreach for the “Breaking Barriers” Exhibition at Parliament and the “Rethink Parliament” National Project 2009 – 2010

To read about Rachel's work on Parliament UK
Asylum - A rich jewel like coloured narrative multi layered mixed media painting on canvas of a the derelict Cane Hill Asylum Hospital Surrey narrating narrative stories still trapped between the fibres of the decaying buildings
To read about Rachel's work on DAO
Triumphant Return - Photo of Rachel creating an large expressionistic live capture artwork on the floor at Stoke Mandeville indoor stadium with the GB Wheelchair Basketball team training in the background.

“I have great hopes that London 2012 and the return of the Paralympics to its birth place is an opportunity for a massive sea change to occur within our society, where the vision of the Paralympic Movement acts as a catalyst for every disabled individual to have the opportunity and support to reach their full potential. It is for this reason that I am striving ahead as an artistic ambassador and cultural leader for London 2012 and contributing to making this vision a reality.”

Rachel was commissioned to create artworks for the Beijing - London Paralympics Handover Ceremony Sept 2008 and is currently working on Paralympic art projects for London 2012.

To see more of Rachel's work on these themes on the London 2012 website...

Following a trip to Southern Ethiopian July 2009 to visit the Tribal Groups of the Omo Valley Rachel has recently created a series of drawings and paintings for her The Land of the Sacred Ibis solo exhibition which opened in London on the 29th Nov 2009.

To see more work from Rachel's trip to Ethiopia in 2009
To read more about Rachel celebrating the Olympic Open Weekend in Ethiopia...

Relating to her current role at Parliament for Parliamentary Outreach Rachel has also recently been selected to speak at the Arts Activated National Conference 2010 Arts - Access - Excellence A symposium exploring Excellence in Disability Arts in Sydney Australia in March 2010 .

To find out more about the Arts Activated National Conference 2010.
To go to Rachel's own website...

Images

Miraculous Draught of Fishes (Hampton Court Palace) Painting depicting the Fire of 1986 at Hampton Court Palace and a psychological journey through the Baroque Palace.

Mursi Boy A portrait painting of a young Mursi tribal Boy

Photo of Rachel drawing in the Turbine hall at Tate Modern Gallery

Breaking Barriers Parliament A painting showing images depicting the activity of the Suffragette and Suffragist Movement, the Houses of Parliament.

Struggle Penallta Colliery A painting of a struggle between 2 men within the Turbine Hall of Penallta Colliery.

Asylum A painting of a the derelict Cane Hill Asylum Hospital Surrey.

Triumphant Return Rachel creating a live capture artwork on the floor at Stoke Mandeville indoor stadium with the GB Wheelchair Basketball team in the background.