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Explosive - Unconscious 2007

rachel gadsden drawing

In a poem dated August 1914 Rainer Maria Rilke wrote:

….A travers nous s’envolent
Les oiseaux en silence, O, moi qui veux grandir
Je regarde au dehors, et l’arbre en moi grandit.

(Silently the birds
Fly through us, O, I, who long to grow,
I look outside myself, and the tree inside me grows.)

In 2006 I learnt that I had begun to lose central focusing vision. This had a profound effect on my artistic practise. In the past I created my artwork (drawing/painting/installation/performance and digital film) primarily from the observation of the human form and through an investigation of the external fragile world.

Initial fear and trepidation regarding the permanent loss of visual clarity due to retinoschisis quickly subsided with the subsequent understanding that my artwork and narrative are actually created from unconscious psychological impulses that emerge through the rigorous expressionistic process of drawing and painting has been a revelation. It is apparent that the deterioration of my sight has unlocked a door to a subconscious world where focused energy is born. Corporeal universal emotions and ideas inhabit the work, and the emerging explosive narrative is unleashed without conscious restraint.

rachel gadsden drawing

I have begun to develop a series of drawings and paintings where Tiina Tuomisto’s (a Finnish Circus artist, from Circus Space in London) innate physical vitality is the starting point for an exploration of fragility, vulnerability and freedom. I am drawing Tiina over a sustained period as she practices and performs; undertaking a rigorous investigation of released energy and of the effects this has on our “collaborative” psychological resonance's. The ambition being to artistically capture the visceral physical corporeal energy of form and spirit that is released when two practitioners are engaged together in artistic expression.

rachel gadsden drawing

I see this somewhat intangible territory as a level playing field where we are perhaps all equal, a wilderness where issues of disability, ethnicity, and otherness maybe abandoned, and a place from whence the overarching qualities of the human spirit emerge.

rachel gadsden drawing