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Hurricane Hannah by Rachel Gadsen

‘Hurricane Hannah’ by Rachel Gadsden.

Loughborough University performance artist to take to the stage this weekend as part of the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming event

This weekend, a stellar line-up of the very best of British music and entertainment will provide an epic celebration of the ParalympicsGB athletes and their achievements at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Taking place on Sunday 12 September at the SSE Arena, Wembley, the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming event will include performances from Birdy, Jamie Cullum, James Arthur, and Loughborough University’s Rachel Gadsden

Rachel, who joined the university in July as a PhD student, is set to paint live on stage to music by percussionist Evelyn Glennie and violinist Michael A. Levine.  

The visual and performance artist will have three minutes to create a piece that reflects and celebrates the efforts of the ParalympicsGB athletes on a 3mx3m canvas. 

Though she has an idea of what she is going to paint, Rachel says ultimately the atmosphere of the event will shape the artwork.  

“I am really pleased to have been asked to create a piece and, though there will be certain sequences I go through, I have to feel the moment”, Rachel said.  

“I give myself to the canvas in the hope that the canvas gives to me, it’s quite ritualistic.  

“It will be great to see the Paralympians in the audience and I’ll use my art to capture their sense of spirit and the spirit of their World Class performances.”   

Rachel has received commissions relating to the Paralympic Games for Beijing, London, Sochi, Rio, and now Tokyo. 

Rachel, who has a visual impairment and a chronic hereditary lung condition, which has resulted in her having a syringe driver fitted that injects her with drugs once a minute, says the Games “is the biggest thing that has changed the whole world in relation to disability access and disability empowerment”. 

She said: “It makes disability visible, and if it is visible, there are opportunities for change.” 

Channel 4 will be broadcasting the National Lottery’s ParalympicsGB Homecoming, on Sunday (12 September) at 10pm. It will be hosted by The Last Leg team of Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe, and Alex Brooker.  

More information on the event can be found here.