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Artist Rachel Gadsden unveils Unlimited Global Alchemy at Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology in Cambridge

  • Date: 26 June 2012
  • Area: London, National, North, South East
Unlimited Global Alchemy, Rachel Gadsden

Unlimited Global Alchemy, Rachel Gadsden. Credit: Rachel Gadsden

UK Artist Rachel Gadsden’s bold new work with South African activist Nondumiso Hlwele and the Bambanani group launches this June as part of the London 2012 Festival.

Unlimited Global Alchemy was commissioned by the Unlimited programme and explores the psychology and politics of HIV/AIDS and of life-giving medical regimes. Unlimited is a London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme that celebrates arts and culture by disabled and Deaf artists by supporting them to produce high quality art and to forge new partnerships with mainstream organisations.

The exhibition runs from 22 June to 18 August 2012 at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge. Six of the films from the exhibition will then travel to Liverpool to the Bluecoat Gallery - a film screening and talk with Rachel Gadsden and three of the Bambanani artists on Thursday 30 August - as part of DadaFest 2012. The exhibition will then transfer to the Southbank Centre for the Paralympic Games 1 to 9 September.

The exhibition is the culmination of six weeks of collaborative work with the Bambanani Group in Khayelitsha Township, Cape Town, in which a number of drawings, sketchbooks, paintings and films were produced with South African artists Nondumiso Hlwele, Noloyiso Balintulo, Bongiwe Mba, Thozama Ndevu, Thobani Ncapai and Zodwa Somlayi and South African filmmaker Cliff Bestall and filmmaker Deborah May.

The show was co-produced by Gadsden, Artsadmin and the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology. Rachel Gadsden is an award-winning international contemporary artist who is known for her work at Stoke Mandeville Sports Stadium in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, the birthplace of the Paralympics.

The exhibition is supported with a specially commissioned catalogue, which includes images of the artworks, a DVD and texts including a foreword by South African author Jonny Steinberg.
The Unlimited Global Alchemy project also gave birth to a live multi-media theatrical visual performance in response to the Cape Town residency. The show was co-directed by Gadsden and choreographer Athina Vahla, featuring performers Freddie Opoku-Addaie and Sarah Chin and Gadsden creating visual art live on stage. The work premieres at the Southbank in September 2012.

Unlimited Global Alchemy is on at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge 22 June to 18 August 2012 and Southbank Centre for the Paralympic Games 1 to 9 September. For more information, please see