The Art Academy – London

Arabella Brooke


‘My work is figurative and based on observation, mostly recorded in sketch books, which I carry around with me at all times, but also on scraps of paper, receipts, the backs of envelopes. This recording, often only a scribbled line, or suggestion of a form, is the starting point for a long process of development in the studio, where their components get rearranged and refigured, until they take on a new and distinct identity of their own.’

‘The challenge for me has always been to keep the freshness, or ‘feeling’ of the original sketch in the finished sculpture, and it is quite normal for me to have made and destroyed four or five versions of the same piece before deciding finally to cast it into bronze. It is if that original idea held inside it some pre-existent, elusive truth that I must try to pin down without getting in the way myself. Generally, sculptures ‘fail’ when I have tried too hard to direct operations.’

‘The sculptures are figurative, that is, recognisably human, in essence if not in detail. Anatomically speaking, liberties have been taken, but they are based on a sound understanding of the human form, and they convey an impression of weight and structure that rings true with the viewer. The figures seem to tell a story, although they are never so explicit that the viewer doesn’t have to ‘fill in the gaps’, to struggle a little for meaning. Mostly they talk about identity and relationships, and about the struggle to find meaning in a fast-moving and disposable world.’

Courses Taught

Arabella teaches on the Diploma