Mantilla/Mi maja. Object as a Muse. Crafts Council touring exhibition. August 2008-2010
From the Manuela series
184cm x 56cm. Spanish traditional headscarf. 3000 articulated silver components
Object as a muse exhibition
Sculpture + Photography.
‘Mantilla’ is the one of the most complex of her pieces. A mantilla is a Spanish headscarf, traditionally made of lace, woven in purely decorative patterns. Worn at funerals or weddings, its size is personal, depending on the height of the original owner. Each traditional mantilla acquires its own significance through its scale (like it passed down through families) and more importantly, through its presence at, its marking of, family rituals and rites. With ‘Mantilla’ Arabel takes this traditional form and re-threads, as it were, its origins, refilling its rectangle with her own interests and with her own history. It fits her body. Its filigree, worked by Spanish craftsman using traditional techniques, and creating links with the past. Amongst the motifs replacing a purely decorative pattern are hunting scenes, a chair, a cross. Although all have some universal significance the first recalls the grandfather, the second her grandmother and the third an absent friend.