Mayflower 400 Southampton

Rachel Gadsden – What this Storm is All About

 

 

The sea and sailing is ever present in Rachel Gadsden’s life, and inspired by significant historical and contemporary migrations passages, including the 1620 Mayflower voyage to the new World, the 1816 Medusa voyage to Senegal, and the recent diaspora journeys refugees have, and are still taking to escape war and conflict, Gadsden is exploring sea journeys as a catalyst to create a multimedia exhibition of artworks and a digital performance “Deluge” by Gadsden and composer Freddie Meyers, with a sound score composed by Meyers and contributions from Australian artist Jeremy Hawkes, Hong Kong artist Yeung Siu-Fong, UK Violinist Emily Earl and sign performer Stacey Stockwell.

Inspired by a long history of artists exploring similar subjects, Gadsden is taking inspiration from French Romantic artist Gericault’s “Raft of the Medusa” painting, Russian artist Ivan Aviavosky’s significant seascape paintings and Cy Twombly’s Lepanto Cycle (Venice Biennale 2001) for this project, Gadsden hopes to capture and record, through art, migration narratives, both the traumatic and celebratory experiences, and the ultimate sense of empowerment and hope that has emerged from historical and contemporary universal displacement and migration to create a more culturally diverse Global society.

Richard Howard wrote in the exhibition catalogue for Cy Tombly’s Lepanto Series:

“As grim and sometimes uproarious as the art panels are, their cumulative effect, as we move among them, to take in the whole sequence as a single image, is one of luminous intensity. We witness historical evidence through a personal meditation on tragedy. Certainly, Lepanto is an accounting, but not a final summing up.

We are still, with Twombly in the thick of the fight”.

With grateful thanks to Disability Arts Online and Arts with the Disabled Association, Hong Kong, who are generously supporting the creation of the “Deluge” Digital Performance.

Rachel Gadsden – Beam Reach to the Sea
Pencil, Conte, Sepia Wash on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Embarkation
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Departure

Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Waiting for the tide
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Waiting for the tide (detail)
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Lost at Sea
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Lost at Sea (detail)
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Lost at Sea (detail)
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – The Roar of the Sea
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Adrift in a storm
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – All at Sea
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Abandoned at Sea
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – In the Light of the Full Moon
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – In the Light of the Full Moon (detail)
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – In the Light of the Full Moon (detail)
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – In the Light of the Full Moon (detail)
Gouache and Charcoal on paper

Rachel Gadsden – The Furies of the Sea
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Journey to the New World
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper with digital edit

Rachel Gadsden – Mother and Child
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Refugee Women
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Migration Isolation I
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Migration Isolation II
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Migration Isolation III
Gouache and Charcoal on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – In the shadows of the Mayflower
Pencil on paper with digital edit

Rachel Gadsden – Pilgrims I (detail)

Pencil on paper

Rachel Gadsden –  Pilgrims I 

Pencil on paper

Rachel Gadsden – Pilgrims II

Gouache Charcoal and Conte on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Deluge 

Gouache Charcoal and Conte on Paper

Rachel Gadsden – Deluge (detail)

Gouache Charcoal and Conte on Paper

Dr. Rachel Gadsden FRSA

Expressionist in approach, Gadsden creates solo exhibitions, performances and collaborative social engagement art projects with disabled, vulnerable and mainstream individuals and communities nationally and internationally, through painting, performance, digital film and animation, with the object of developing cross-cultural dialogues considering universal notions of humanity.

At the core of her 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 to find a voice with which to challenge stigma.  Ultimately Gadsden’s 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 mythologies surrounding disability.

Gadsden is currently working on a British Academy Funded Commission, ‘Narratives of Displacement’ in collaboration with Dr. Yafa Shanneik and the University of Birmingham collaborating with Iraqi and Syrian Refugee Women who are sharing their challenging migration journeys, in Germany, UK and Jordan. In her current solo work Gadsden is reflecting upon the physical & psychological issues of displacement, virus pandemics, immunology and the human instinct to remain ever hopeful.

www.rachelgadsden.com

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