Arabella Muir

Extended Diploma in Art & Design - Year 2 - Canterbury


For my Final Major Project, I have been breaking and transforming the traditional framed forms of a painting by using sculpture and installation. 

I found old fabric dust sheets which I used to paint on and then manipulated, suspended and adapted to their surroundings as a way of experimenting with the idea of expanded painting. My vibrant use of colour came from childhood photos which allowed me to create these distorted memories that would only be recognisable to myself and allow the viewer to have their own interpretations. Colour is comforting for me. There was a calmness that I found refuge in, and wanted other people to experience, which is why my work is exploding with it. Focusing on my childhood also allowed me to exaggerate this playful and spontaneous side of my work which helped my work constantly evolve .

My use of paint, scale and physicality of materials link to my feelings as a young girl and woman where I’m constantly challenging what people expect of me. I didn’t want my work to have stereotypes of being dainty and delicate just because of my gender, so my process of making allowed me to push against this. By using my childhood photos as inspiration, it’s like I’m representing my younger self and making those feelings felt and validated. Feminist art, Identity Fashion, Haute Couture runways, Abstract Expressionists and Colour Field painters are key influences on my work and have allowed me to develop myself. I particularly enjoyed ways designers would use fabric to create moving sculptures on the body. Fashion has so much meaning with identity, presentation and personality resonated with me and I wanted to use my work in a similar way.

Nature was also a key part of my childhood and with the coronavirus lockdowns I went for walks amongst the natural landscapes. I walked to places I hadn’t explored before, I liked how nature/trees would create this sort of canopy over yourself, it felt safe and dreamy. The trees would sway and have light coming through which created new colours and dimensions. I began to see relationships with how I looked at nature and ways I was starting to present my work in both natural and studio/home spaces. I found by adapting my work to different surroundings, I began to understand the changes that could happen and also the sort of place where I saw it to fit in best. I liked how there were links between nature and the work. I made my outcome piece in the studio to break the traditional paintings in galleries by going beyond the frame. I was still able to capture this natural, calming sensation by incorporating hanging and floor pieces that create this new dimension and environment. The elements of painting on the floor and walls as well as floor pieces made an interaction between the viewer as you had to physically move around the work. I see my FMP work as a continuing work, I’m constantly adding, developing, changing and growing it by pushing myself each time. This studio installation is an outcome that combines all of what I’ve been exploring. There is still lots I want to carry on extending and taking further which is exciting for me.


My Flickr:[email protected]/albums

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Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies 6
Final Installation
Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies
Calming snippets of outside hanging fabric installation.
Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies 5
Final Installation
Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies 4
Final Installation - interactive environment
Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies 3
Hiding the Figure
Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies 2
Outside Installation - Hanging and suspending colour palette fabrics in my Grandparent's wood where I have a lot of childhood memories to create a calming mood.
Arabella Muir | Pre-degree & Foundation Studies 1
Hanging Fabric in Grandparent's wood.