Approved: 19.03.2012

Arabel Lebrusan

Artist

Approved: 19.03.2012
 
 

Artist Statement

I make three-dimensional works that function simultaneously as both beautiful artefacts and social commentary. My instinctive and broad relationship with scale has led me to create miniature sculptural works as well as site specific work covering a two-storey building. My works range from unique and precious pieces of jewellery, ready-made sculptures and enticingly intricate wall pieces, to museum collection interventions, artworks involving people, performances, and projects in the public realm.

I’m interested in tension; the type in old-fashioned fairytales, where the witch eats the kids instead of the candy. My works always harbour a deep connection to the visceral, and are often suggestive of the females that I grew up around. In this domestic environment, women would butcher chickens in the backyard for lunch. Minutes later, they’re walking down to the river to hand-wash dirty clothes, using soap homemade from recycled cooking oil. That female energy is sensual; tactile, doubled-edged, bursting with vitality and defined by alchemy. As if by magic, materials and objects are transformed, generating wonder every single time. Those powerful skills and crafts that I’ve inherited from my ancestors’ collective memories are now the sources of my inspiration. 

I’m fascinated by the ways materials carry inherent meaning and how that meaning can be transformed; moulded; reshaped. I’m interested in the power of the object; the idea that matter can vibrate and communicate with us as human beings. A ring made from the metal of police-confiscated knives, or a clay medal depicting the profile of a woman and her unborn foetus, killed with exactly that same iron slur… These are examples of matter that matters.

I’m fuelled by a yearning for justice; a desire to address inequalities and to amplify the voices of the people falling through the cracks of the system.  Creating art helps me to cope with the injustices of this brutal world we live in; to process humanity’s tragic histories of abuse, exploitation and inequality. 

The language of craft – of highly skilful craftsmanship – allows me to seduce the audience and make complex concepts appealing and accessible. It scales my ideas down to a relatable domestic scale, creating an intimate dialogue. Channelling large social, economic and political agency through the medium of intimacy is really important to me. I aim to inspire change within the individual by making subjects relevant to them, enabling them to think about the world through the lens of familiar materials. 

A very long time ago, my art teacher said to me: “Arabel, you indeed make art with the end of your fingertips.” I believe we can touch a thought and experience a physical response to a conceptual idea. 

CV & Education

EXHIBITIONS (UPCOMING)

“Blunt Blades” November 2021. The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford. SOLO

EXHIBITIONS

“Blunt Blades Exchange”. Virtual Project. April 2021. Supported by Quiet Down There. Women’s Support Centre Surrey. UK
In my house 4″. Virtual exhibition. The AntiMA. May 2020. Curator: Abigail Mille
“Gothic Pleasures”, May-June 2016. Eagle Gallery. London. UK
“Freehold”. July-September 2015. UH Galleries. Museum of St. Albans. St. Albans. UK. SOLO
“MK Calling 2015”. July 2015. MK Gallery. Milton Keynes. UK
“Eastern Approaches 2014”. December 2014. UH Galleries. Museum of St. Albans. St. Albans. UK
“Open Exhibition”. Dec 13 – Jan 14. Curators: Gareth Bell-Jones (Wysing Arts Centre) and Jennie Syson (SYSON Gallery). NN. Northampton. UK
“Laced words”. February 13. Audiovisual artwork.In collaboration with artist Kathy Hinde. Commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts. 1 St Paul’s square. Bedford. UK. SOLO
“Lace in Place”. May 12- March 13. Site specific installation. Commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts. 1 St Paul’s square. Bedford. SOLO
“Eastern Pavilions”. December 11. Norwich Museum and Art Gallery. Norwich. Atrium Studios. University Campus Suffolk. Ipswich. UK
“Object as Muse”. July 08. Crafts Council. Winchester Center. Winchester. UK
“DNA. Rising talent at FORM London”. Feb- March 08. London Olympia. UK
“Kunstroute Noord: Business as Usual”. Jun 05. Artinfuse. Rotterdam. Holland
“…prospecten van nooit vermoed schoon”. Aug 04. Tent. Rotterdam. Holland
“El Rosario de la Abuela”. Collaboration with Olga Parra Benavides Apr 04. Lunâ Art Collective Gallery. Cebu city. The Philippines. SOLO
“Fotonoviembre”. Nov 03. Tenerife International Photography Biennial. Islas Canarias. Spain
“Eindelijk”. Jun 02. Moira Gallery. Utrecht. Holland
“Utrechtse Kunstmanifestatie”. Sept 01. Janskerk. Janskerkhof. Utrecht. Holland
“Private in public”. Apr 01. Exposorium.Vrije Universiteit. Amsterdam. Holland
[email protected]. Mar 01. Moira Gallery. Utrecht. Holland. SOLO
“Kunst met een grote U”. Dec 00.Verzorgingscentrum Titus Brandsma. Utrecht. Holland
“Who are we”. Jul 00. Louka monastery. Znojmo. Czech Republic
“Duurzaamheid Verbeeld”. May 00. Griftpark. Utrecht. Holland
“Bunker(t)raume”. Jun 00. Gesundbrunnen bunker. Berlin. Germany
“El cuaderno rojo”. Collaboration with Laia Fábregas Ferrús. Oct 99. Cervantes Institute. Utrecht. Holland. SOLO
“Park van de toekomst”. Apr 99. Westergasfabriek. Amsterdam. Holland

ART & DESIGN AWARDS

2017. Designer of the Year. National Association of Jewellers. UK
2014. Eastern Approaches. Overall winner. UH Galleries. Museum of St. Albans. St. Albans. UK

FAIRS

2009. London Art Fair, Rebecca Hossack Gallery
2008. Art London, Rebecca Hossack Gallery

TEACHING, LECTURES & WORKSHOPS

2015. TEDx Talk. TEDxBedford. Ethical Jewellery
2014. Weaving a Web. In collaboration with artist Aaron Head. Milton Keynes Gallery
2005. Behaviours. As guest lecturer. University of Cebu. The Philippines

SELECTED PROJECTS, SEMINARS AND RESIDENCIES

 

2021. Research Fellow at Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics. University of Brighton
2017. Summer Lodge. Nottingham Trent University . UK
2011. Fence ragging. Guerilla textilesThe Big Lunch. Bedford. UK
2005. Arts for social changePioneers of change. Johannesburg. South Africa
2003. Arte y saber (art and knowledge). Arteleku. Donostia-San Sebastián. Basque Land. Spain
2002. Comunitat/community. Residency. Fundacio d’Estudis Superiors d’Olot.Coromina. La Garrotxa. Girona. Spain
2000. Who are we. Residency at Louka monastery. Znojmo. Czech Republic
2000. Duurzaamheid Verbeeld (Sustainability). Hogeschool van de Kunsten. Utrecht. Holland
1999. Park van de toekomst (Park of the Future). Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Westergasfabriek. Amsterdam. Holland

 

GRANTS & SPONSORS

2021. Project Grant Arts Council England. Grant for “Blunt Blades”. November. The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford
2015. GfdA Arts Council England. Grant for “Freehold”. UH Galleries. Museum of St. Albans. St. Albans. UK
2012. GfdA Arts Council England. Grant for “Lace in Place”. Bedford. UK
2008. Goldsmiths’Craft and Design Council. Commended Award. London. UK
2007. HRA Diamond company. Sponsorship for Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design degree show. London
2004. Private Business sponsors ‘El Rosario de la Abuela’. Cebu city. The Philippines
2003. CBK Rotterdam. Exhibiting abroad grant for “Fotonoviembre”. Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Spain
2001. KF Heinfonds, Utrecht “[email protected]”. Moira Gallery. Utrecht. Holland
2000. Hogeschool van de Kunsten, Utrecht,“ Who are we”. Leuka monastery. Znojmo. Check Republic
2000. Pritt. Henkel Nederland B.V. “Bunker(t)raume”.Gesundbrunnen bunker. Berlin. Germany
1999. Instituto Cervantes for “Park van de toekomst”.Westergasfabriek. Amsterdam. Holland
1999. Erasmus Grant. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain

EDUCATION

2020. AltMFA Peer-led alternative MFA. London. UK
2007. MA Design. Central St. Martin’s College of Art & Design. London. UK
2000. BA Fine Arts. Erasmus Exchange Program. Hogeschool van de Kunsten. Utrecht. Holland
1998. BA Fine Arts. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain
1993. BA History and Geography. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Spain