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This Breathing World, Qatar 2013

This Breathing World

Katara Culture Village, Qatar

This Breathing World Exhibiiton

Qatar – UK Year of Culture 2013

In March 2013 Gadsden was selected to represented UK, creating a major exhibition of paintings  “This Breathing World” for “Qatar - UK Year of Culture 2013”,  for British Council and the first ever Art and Disability Festival in the Middle East.
The exhibition was presented at at Katara Cultural Village, Doha Qatar, and was formally opened by HRH Prince Charles and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall.

Gallery of Artworks

"Just Here" Qatar Magazine Article by Cassey Oliveira

Rachel said:

"This Breathing World" Exhibition Opening in Doha, Qatar!

The opening of my exhibition “This Breathing World” was pretty spectacular  on Thursday night.

I know some of you were already aware that a VIP guest would be in attendance and as you can now witness from the attached snaps, it was HRH Prince Charles, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, the Qatari Minister of Culture and invited VIP guests. British Council, Qatar, and I had arranged an artistic workshop for young disabled people to proceed the opening, I was particularly pleased that this was able to happened as the whole motivation of this first ever Arts and Disability Festival in the Middle East is to highlight issues that address disability matters through cultural activity and this was so well highlighted by the young disabled people who participated.

25 years ago I received a Princes Youth Business Trust Award to start my artistic career, although the British Council and British Embassy were unaware of this when I was first invited to be part of Prince Charles and Camilla’s schedule while they were in Doha, obviously this was an appropriate coincidence and I proudly wore my tiny silver PYBT pin which I received 25 years ago as part of my PYBT Award.

I was very excited by how generously warm and interested everyone was about the exhibition, the artwork, workshop and the motivations of this very important ambitious festival that the British Council have versioned.

I was able to speak comprehensively with the Royal guests highlighting my recent work with British Council and Arts Council and LOCOG for the Cultural Olympiad, my residency at Hampton Court Palace for Historic Royal Palaces, Parliament etc and I also told them that I had spent much of the first 20 years of my life living in the Middle East. Prince Charles is learning Arabic, so this was all of great interest to him. The young people were the stars of course, 2 were visually impaired like myself so that was also an area of discussion, Prince Charles also admitted he isn’t getting enough time to paint and apparently Camilla also wishes she painted too, but they do find time to paint with their 5 grand children.

I have to say the whole occasion was truly wonderful, and as the party departed, Prince Charles shook my hand again and told me he was so very thrilled to know that his Trust had enabled my artistic career to begin and he said having now witnessed my exhibition and my artistic motivation he felt so very proud of what I had achieved in the last 25 years.

I must admit that as the entourage left I turned away tears welling up in my eyes, emotion finally overwhelming me! I do cope with a huge amount on a daily basis due to my health conditions (this is, I suppose, something I rarely admit to), but my artistic motivation and belief has always kept driving me forward with ambition and hope, and with the support of organisations like the British Council, Arts Council England, LOCOG, Accentuate, Parliament, the Princes Youth Business Trust and many others, cultural dialogues do begin and these conversations have the ability to both affect and culturally change our society, and surrounded by all the young disabled Muslim workshop participants and their parents, moments like this really do remind us why these discussions are so very important.

Thank you for all the support you have given me to pursue my vision, I appreciate it so very much.