May 2021. Centre for Spatial, Environmental and Cultural Politics, University of Brighton
Arabel Lebrusan will be a Visiting Fellow in SECP for the next three months (May-July 2021). Arabel is a Spanish-born artist working in sculpture, drawing, jewellery, and site-specific interventions. Focusing on materials and material culture—such as metal from knives confiscated by police, or mercury used in small-scale gold mining, her work investigates wider issues of power relationships, exploitation and inequality, and her artworks function as social commentary. Arabel is currently exploring notions of extractivism, ecofeminism and ecological grief. During this fellowship, she will research how art making—drawing, sculpturing, performing, moving, acting—can bring us closer to/engaging with ecological and social tragedies happening thousands of miles away. That is, objects and materials have the potential to hold memories (Object Reminiscence framework), or be “vibrant matter” (see Jane Bennet, 2010, “Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things”) and in both perspectives, handling the material plays a crucial role in unlocking those narratives. Arabel asks: can art making activate our empathy at a deeper level than our rational understanding of events, and urge us to act?