Migration Isolation Series

Rachel Gadsden

Rachel Gadsden, expressionist in approach, creates solo exhibitions, performances and collaborative social engagement art projects with disabled, vulnerable and mainstream individuals and communities, through painting, performance, digital film and animation, with the object of developing cross-cultural dialogues considering universal notions of humanity. “Gadsden is creating an artwork with frantic speed, fighting her own real-life fight against the dying of the light. In the act of painting, she tells us, she is "living in the second”. Luke Jennings, The Guardian


Gadsden collaborates with Iraqi and Syrian Refugee Women and their families in Germany, UK and Jordan, and listens to their powerful and often harrowing migration stories. Artworks are created in response to the sound of terror and experiencing the utter sense of total isolation and despair the refugees expressed. When an individual is risking their life to flee and escape war, and social and economic deprivation, terror is forever present. 

Gadsden explores the complex nature of the human condition within her work, with particular focus on issues of fragility, survival and hope. 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 social and political inequalities and impairment and working to empower others to find a voice with which to challenge stigma. Gadsden’s work is underpinned by themes of fragility and resilience, and the shared human hope to survive.

About the Artist

Rachel Gadsden

Rachel 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.