About Arabella Dorman
British artist, Arabella Dorman, is an internationally renowned portrait painter and war artist whose work hangs in high profile institutions and collections around the world.
Arabella works from her studio in Chelsea (London) on private and public commissions, and enjoys working closely with the Armed Forces, the Church and other high profile institutions across the UK.
Arabella’s conflict art is drawn from first-hand experience of working with British forces in Southern Iraq (2006), Afghanistan (2009 – 2014) and more recently, with refugees in Lesbos, Calais & Dunkirk (2015 - 2016). Arabella has recently returned from Syria where she bore witness to the cultural and social damage across the country.
Arabella was listed as one of BBC’s Top 100 Women in 2014, and Salt Magazine’s 100 Most Inspiring Women in 2015. Her work has been profiled across national and international television, radio and print, including BBC, CNN, Radio 4, BBC World Service, and featured on the front cover of The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Times Magazine.
Arabella is a prominent public speaker and fundraiser.
Arabella’s critically acclaimed installations, Flight and Suspended at St James's Piccadilly, Canterbury Cathedral and Leicester Cathedral have raised global awareness about the plight of refugees, while her last exhibition, Before the Dawn at La Galleria Pall Mall raised over £30,000 for charities Afghanaid and Walking with the Wounded.
Arabella lives in London with her husband and 2 young children.
All Hallows Twickenham
St James’s Piccadilly, London
The Nile Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
Kings College London
Sayle Gallery, Isle of Man
Guards Chapel, London
La Galleria, Pall Mall, London
Westminster Abbey, London
Frost & Reed Gallery, St James, London
Arndean Gallery, Cork Street, London
Imperial War Museum, London
The John Creasey Museum, Salisbury
Excel, London, KBR DSEI
Shrivenham Defence Academy Headquarters
Bait Muzna Gallery, Muscat, Oman
Mall Galleries, London
Selected Commissions and Collections
H.R.H Elizabeth II Presenting New Standards - Royal Tanks Regiment
H.R.H Prince Michael of Kent
General Sir Richard Shirreff, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
General Sir Jack Deverell, Commander of Allied Forces North Europe
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
The King’s Royal Hussars
Honourable Artillery Company
The United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall
Princess to the Royal Family of the United Arab Emirates
The Queen's Royal Lancers
The 2nd Battalion The Rifles
Aegis, Boardroom Collection
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
The Honorary Colonel of The Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers
The Kennel Club
Leicestershire County Council Artworks Collection
Lieutenant Commander MRL. Hayes, DOS, Knight of St John
Mark Burrell, High Sheriff of West Sussex & Director of Pearsons PLC
Michael Campbell, High Sheriff of Hampshire
Sir Michael Morland, Retired Judge of the High Court, England & Wales
The Museum of Muscat, Oman Royal Collection, Oman
Richard Handover, Chief Executive, WHSmith
Smith & Williamson, Boardroom Collection
Army Benevolent Fund
Art for Youth
Care for Casualties
Cystic Fibrosis Trust
Doctors of the World
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children
Help for Heroes
Macmillan Cancer Support
Médecins Sans Frontières
Royal National Lifeboat Association
Walking with the Wounded
Personal Statement 2016
War & Art
Light in the Darkest Corners of Existence
In the face of conflict, the beauty of being human resides in our hope.
As a war artist, I have always been fascinated by the power of the still image to express human history. Having worked in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade, and more recently with refugees in Lesbos, Calais & Dunkirk, my work is an exploration of the short and long term repercussions of conflict.
Within the noise and haste of today’s digital world, I turn to the quieter and more deliberate medium of paint to reveal the unseen stories of courage, sacrifice and tribulation that are often found, hidden, in the shadows of war.
My abiding focus lies in the men, women and children affected by war and the human stories behind the news headlines, the individuals behind the politics. As such, my paintings are an attempt to illuminate and to reveal the human face of conflict, and to find light in the darkest corners of existence.
In essence my work is as much about the hope that can rise from the embers, as it is about the poignancy and pathos of war. It is about sacrifice and remembrance, exile and despair, but it is also about tenacity and faith. My art asks us to consider the courage of soldiers and civilians alike, the fearlessness of young Afghan women determined to seek an education, the plight of the thousands of unaccompanied refugee children today, and the hope that sustains the displaced.
At a time when the darkness seems to be getting closer, with a deepening of complexities, apprehensions and divisions, my work is about the urgent need for empathy, understanding & respect for our fellow human beings, as we honour the fallen, and remember all who live under the shadow of war today.