Ben Gabel

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My background has always been rooted in arts and crafts. My parents met in Florence, working as emergency conservators after the 1966 flood that damaged thousands of artworks throughout the city, and married soon afterwards. Some of my earliest memories are playing in my fathers jewellery workshop and foundry, learning how to work in precious metals, and I grew up attending arts fairs in North America. As a teenager we visited museums and galleries throughout Europe and I gained a deep appreciation of the way that even a simple work can evoke powerful emotions in the viewer.

I have always been intrigued by the question of how things can be alive, and what exactly that means, and this lead to a degree in Botany at Cambridge University. Since then I’ve worked in many different fields, exploring these ideas further; a journey that has involved working with plants, wood, ceramics, photography, and drama.

These latest projects – pocket sculptures – are portable artworks designed to be experienced by touch, and to be intrinsically pleasing to hold. Inspired by the cellular details of animals and plants, but with a nod to the underlying mathematical beauty of the universe, each has a particular personality, heft and feel. I hope you enjoy exploring them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.