Rachida Addou is an artist and educator, born in Algeria, currently living in Toronto, Canada. Her paintings are inspired by the journey of her nonspeaking autistic daughter who lived in total silence for the first 12 years of her life. When Rachida came across a new means of communication, finally opening the door to her daughter’s mind, she extended her blessings to others by supporting individuals with complex speech disorders and giving them access to this new method. Once they become fluent, she introduces them to painting and creative writing.
Her work reflects the diversity, depth and richness of minds who were and still are left behind, living in total silence, often segregated, yet have so much to share. Through the use of textures symbolizing the rigidity of fixed-in-stone ideas about one’s potential, she adds vivid coloured shapes representing doorways and paths to the mind’s infinite possibilities, inviting daring minds to cross the threshold leading to the fascinating unknown.
Rachida, studied Graphic Design, Illustration and Figure Drawing in London, UK in the late 1990’s. Her artistic career was paused while attending her daughter’s needs. In the meantime, she went on to study Psycholinguistics and Mental Health Studies in Toronto, Canada. She recently reconnected with her passion for painting with a tilted, deeper perspective and an increased perception of the unseen. She is also collaborating in Neurodiverse Art collectives and leading an Art movement initiated by her students.