Dr. Rachel Gadsden (Honorary Doctor LSBU 2016) is a British multi award winning visual and performance artist and artistic director, who spent her formative years in the Middle East. Expressionist in artistic approach, she creates both solo and collaborative art commissions and projects nationally and internationally through, painting, performance, digital film and animation, with the object of developing cross-cultural dialogues considering universal notions of humanity. Gadsden focusses on UK and International collaborations, engaging and creating with mainstream and vulnerable/disabled individuals and communities to celebrate identity, culture and the human spirit. Gadsden’s projects have been exhibited throughout UK, across Europe and in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong Jordan, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and across the USA. Her artworks are part of many significant collections around the world including UK Parliament, HM Queen Elizabeth II collection, and The Mandela Walk to Freedom Collection, South Africa.
Gadsden has a BA (hons) and MA in Fine art, and she has undertaken 4 commission for UK Parliament, 2009 – 2015, was awarded 2 major commissions for the London Olympic and Paralympic Cultural Olympiad, and has created artworks and digital animations for 4 Paralympic Games including Beijing, London, Sochi and Brazil.
Gadsden’s 2019 commissions include 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.
In Their Human Gloves, 2018
Charcoal, acrylic, oil and mixed mediums on canvas
Rachel Gadsen creates both solo and collaborative art projects nationally and internationally through painting, performance, digital film and animation, with the object of developing cross-cultural dialogues that consider universal notions of humanity. Rachel engages with mainstream and vulnerable/disabled individuals and communities to celebrate identity, culture and the human spirit.
When a vulnerable woman finally finds the strength and courage to express how she was abused by her father, every night, from a very young age, the violent act remains deeply etched in your mind forever too.
Gadsden is motivated through her creativity, to bear witness to such acts, to give the individual the opportunity to have a voice and to be heard, and also to draw attention to the horrific violence that 1 in 3 women experience. Gadsden works in collaboration with survivors of abuse and domestic violence, all around the world, with the aim of finding positive ways for survivors to be expressive and feel empowered through the arts.
It is too easy for us to remain passive. There were many witnesses to this young girl’s nightly rape, including her mother. In Their Human Gloves makes the invisible visible, ultimately enabling the violated individual to move forward with power and strength.