Arabel Lebrusan, also known as Rosillo de Blas, (Madrid 1974), is an artist whose sculpture, jewellery and site-specific interventions function as social commentary. Focusing her lens on material culture she investigates wider issues of power relationships and exploitation. Her latest body of work looks at the extraction of natural resources, ecofeminism, and ecological grief.
She initially studied Gemmology and Goldsmithing in Spain followed by a BA in Sculpture at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, graduating in 1999, after spending the last years at Hogeschool van de Kunsten in Utrecht, on an Erasmus exchange program. After her studies, Arabel lived in The Netherlands and worked as a freelance jewellery designer traveling extensively through the Far East where she combined her design work with art exhibitions. Since, she has exhibited at galleries and site-specific locations in Rotterdam, Berlin, Check Republic, The Philippines, Canary Islands, London, Milton Keynes, etc…
In 2005, Lebrusan moved to London to complete an MA at Central Saint Martins, on ethical jewellery. Her extensive background in jewellery design, sustainable manufacturing, and craftsmanship sets her in strong stead to explore associations between the extraction of natural resources (like diamond- and gold-mining) and broader, related issues of power, exploitation and material wealth.
She has used her own ethical jewellery designer brand, Lebrusan Studio, to campaign extensively to make the jewellery world one that is more sustainable and has been awarded numerous accolades for her pioneering work in this field. Her TEDx talk on ethical jewellery was a significant milestone in her activist career, and her latest campaign raising funds for Global March against Child Labour has also been an opportunity to project her voice far and wide.
The Covid years ignited in her an interest to go back to Academia to explore the relationship between extractive industries with her artistic practice and in 2021 she was awarded a Fellowship at the Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics at the University of Brighton followed by an MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art.
She currently combines her art practice with overseeing her successful ethical jewellery brand.
2015. Freehold .Commissioned by UH Galleries, St. Albans, UK. With support from Arts Council England.
Intervention in a museum collection.
|2012. Social Engagement
2012-2013. “Lace in Place” and “Laced Words“. Bedford Creative Arts. 1St Paul’s square. Bedford. UK. With support from Arts Council England.
Site specific. Multimedia. Collaboration. Social engagement. Heritage. Place. Female economics. Craft.
|2007. United Kingdom, jewellery and studio practice
2008-2014. “Heaven & Hell. The state of the Jewellery Industry”. London. UK.
From the Manuela series.
Art jewellery. Disaster capitalism. Ecological grief. Language of craft. Heritage.
2008-2010. “Mantilla” Mi maja. Object as a Muse. Crafts Council touring exhibition.
From the Manuela series. Self portrait.
|2000-2005. Travels. The Philippines. Hong Kong
2004. “El rosario de la abuela” (Grandmother’s rosary). Luna Art Collective Gallery. The Philippines.
Site specific. Collaboration. Performance. Cultural heritage. Customs & folklore. Collective memory.
2001. “Seatbelt on while seated, life jacket under your seat” Utrechtse Kunstmanifestatie. Janskerkhof. The Netherlands.
Site specific. Power relations. Religion. Repetition
|2000. The Netherlands
2000. “Eiren” . Bunker(t)raume. Gesundbrunnen bunker. Berlin. Germany
Site-specific. Social engagement. Historical memory. Memory of place.
2000. Frozen Moments I. Albert Heijn supermarket. Utrecht. The Netherlands.
Site-specific. Collective Memory
1999-2001. BFA Fine Arts. Hogeschool van de Kunsten. The Netherlands.
Fragility. Domestic. Objects
1995-1998. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain. BFA Fine Arts. Painting, Sculpture, Drawing, Photography.
Dealing with bulimia