Arabella was born in London and grew up in Tuscany before moving to Johannesburg where she spent her teenage years. She then went to Edinburgh University after which she lived and studied in Florence, London and New York. She returned to South Africa in 1990 and now lives and works in Cape Town.
Arabella draws inspiration from the people, places and objects she loves. From the light where she lives and the wilderness where she goes to find peace and silence. The feeling of quiet and perhaps stillness in the work reflects the ambience she creates around her, in order to find inspiration and access her creativity.
“The materials I now work with, terracotta, gesso and oil, reflect the influence of the paintings and sculptures I was exposed to as a child in the Early Renaissance churches in Tuscany.
Each work is simply a point on a journey – a journey which is an attempt at, a quest in search of excellence in painting and in sculpture. A goal which is both mysterious and highly illusive. It is a quest that will preoccupy me for the rest of my life.” My recent body of work is an expression of where I am now. There is a solitary quality to the work – an inward search for a sense of “being”, in relation to the earth and the world around us, perhaps provoked by the enormously dehumanising trend of current society, the loss of identity and individuality brought about by new technologies, virtual forms of communication and modern ways of life.
My work goes back to traditional ways of painting with its foundation in drawing. I firmly believe that the energy and focus put into making a work, a deep meditative concentration, produces work of honesty and integrity, with a powerful energy. It is the process which is important, the journey, not just the final art work.”