Rachel Gadsden DU LSBU (Hon.) is an artist/director; she spent her childhood and teenage years living in the Middle East. Expressionist in approach, Gadsden creates National and International art projects through, painting, performance, and film, with the objective of creating cross-cultural artistic dialogues that consider profound notions of what it is to be human. Gadsden currently is focusing on British/Arab projects, engaging vulnerable and disabled individuals and communities in the UK & across the Arab region, to facilitate them to find a creative voice to celebrate identity, culture and the spirit of the Arab World. Gadsden’s acclaimed projects have been exhibited throughout UK and Europe and in Bahrain, Brazil, Oman, Palestine, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and the USA. She is a multi-award winning artist who has a BA and MA in Fine Art; after building a significant reputation for her artworks through exhibitions, residencies and engagement projects, she was appointed the first contemporary artist for Hampton Court Palace 2008 – 2009 for Historic Royal Palaces, and has subsequently undertaken 4 major commissions for UK Parliament (2009 – 2015). London 2012 Cultural Olympiad commissions followed - Unlimited Global Alchemy and Starting Line. In 2013 Gadsden represented the UK, creating “This Breathing World” for Qatar – UK Year of Culture 2013, for British Council and Qatari Government, HRH Prince Charles formally opened the exhibition. Further 2013 commissions included Talking Souls with BC South Africa & Cube of Curiosity with Marc Brew for Liberty Festival. In 2014 Gadsden created a digital artwork for the Sochi, Winter Paralympic Heritage Torch Lighting. Gadsden also embarked on Al Noor ~ Fragile Vision, a multi-cultural collaborative UK and Middle East project and she completed 14 Stations of the Cross paintings for St Joseph’s Cathedral, Abu Dhabi. 2015 major commissions included The Four Fridas for GDIF, A Tale of Two Cities project in collaboration with Everton and Manchester City Power wheelchair football, “Amandla” for Freewheelers Theatre and Media and ILHAM exhibition and conference at Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, and 2 artistic delivery residencies for British Council in Bahrain and Palestine. Gadsden was selected to present at the AWID International Forum in Bahia, Brazil 2016 and she was been commissioned to be the lead artist for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Heritage Torch Lighting Ceremony at Stoke Mandeville, UK. Recent Arts Council - Artists International Development Award and an a-n Travel Bursary and an a-n Travel Bursary enabled her to expand and to further develop her work in Palestine with the Bereaved to Bereaved Women’s Group, Jerusalem, with Gaza and West Bank disabled artists and athletes. Gadsden has recently returned from Qatar, having undertaken her first commission for the Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 Football. Gadsden was awarded the National Diversity Award 2013: Positive Role Model for Disability and she was shortlisted for the European Diversity Awards, Hero of the Year 2014, and she won Breakthrough UK - National Independent Living Award "Influencing disabled people’s participation in society” Gadsden is Patron for 3 Disability Arts Charities in UK, QEII School in Horsham for moderate to severe disabled young people, DASH Disability Arts, a Disability led visual arts organisation, and Freewheelers Theatre Company, a disability led theatre and media company, and Gadsden is also an active Ambassador for Spirit of London 2012 Trust. Gadsden was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from London South Bank University in recognition of her artistic career, in Nov 2016. London, UK