Al Noor ~ Fragile Vision - is a multi-cultural collaborative project between UK and Middle East communities and arts organizations which will consider perceptions as to disability, culture, diversity and openness about impairment. An exhibition of artworks, animated digital films and an extensive residency outreach workshop programme in UK and Middle East, underpinned by themes relating to fragility and resilience, directed by Rachel Gadsden in collaboration with artists in UK and Middle East, will promote a blueprint of positive cultural values for communities and individuals who are addressing chronic health conditions and dealing with the politics and mythologies surrounding disability.

“The word Al Noor itself has a big positive meaning full of hope and determination. Working with Rachel on Al Noor Fragile Vision project in partnership with Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar Museums, Qatar University, Al Ruqaya School, Al Noor School for the Blind and Hope Qatar made this project a national project with benefit to all. This project was very inspiring and life changing not only to students and families who were involved, but also for us as British Council staff who worked closely with blind and disabled young people and disabled professionals and listened to their success stories and challenges that life has put in their way. Rachel as a role model is the person you need in your life to remember that nothing is impossible in life and that with determination and commitment you can fly high”.
Waseem Kotoub - Head of Arts and Creativity British Council, Qatar
The "Precious" painting invites the viewer to take part in a psychological journey: that of her own history and the history of the Fatimid bowl, up until the moment that those two meet. Gadsden references her own past – having spent the first 20 years of her life in the Middle East – and weaves a broad narrative expressive of a rapidly shifting desert landscape as oil is discovered and Qatar emerges on the Global stage.
The female figure depicted in the bowl serves as symbolic of (or present on behalf of) the four disabled female figures represented in the painting; and in particular of the three women who are sat on chairs: patiently waiting in a desert landscape – waiting to be discovered or unearthed.
Primarily Gadsden’s artistic focus is upon the rights and the desires of disabled people worldwide. The painting expresses the notion that everything and everyone is Precious ~ ثمين.

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