Installation celebrates affluent city of St Albans

Arabel Rosillo de Blas

Arabel Rosillo de Blas - Credit: Archant

A new installation by Spanish artist Arabel Rosillo de Blas created especially for St Albans can be seen at a local museum throughout the summer.

Entitled Freehold, it runs at the Museum of St Albans in Hatfield Road from tomorrow, July 24, until September 7.

As winner of the Eastern Approaches annual open exhibition 2014, Arabel, who is based in Bedford, was invited to develop a solo exhibition.

She combines a series of new sculptural works, drawings, archival images and text to create an ambitious installation that disrupts the gallery space dramatically.

The installation celebrates and questions the qualities and values of St Albans, an affluent city with an historic core.

Taking museum archival material as her inspiration, she focuses on the post-war housing developments in St Albans. Estates such as Marshalswick and Jersey Farm demonstrate aspiration for lone ownership and new beginnings.

In Freehold, Arabel constructs a series of interlocking spaces within the gallery to house a series of artworks exploring the images and ideologies of the

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‘property ladder’ town planning and infrastructure.

These include drawings in human hair, a floor of carved soap tiles cast from original cathedral tiles, life-size photographs and furniture sculptures.

Arabel’s artistic practice consists of handmade sculptures and installations that function both as artefacts and as social commentary.

She won Eastern Approaches with a delicate yet disturbing sculpture created from dolls-house furniture. The themes of decoration, domesticity and chaos suggested by the prize-winning piece are continued and developed through Freehold.

The exhibition has been arranged through UHArts and Arabel will talk about her work during an artist’s reception tonight which is open to all with no admission charge.