'arabella' is a narrative photo series featuring arabella (arachnid - spider, bella - beautiful). it was photographed by @designedbyalice and @makeshiftcompany in an abandoned plastic factory near manningtree on a warm november's day in 2017.
arabella was one of many. set in motion by daily tasks. “work with pride and take pride in your work!” suggested a sign on the wall.
around her, a hive of tiny tasks rung and clattered down labyrinthine hallways, carried by swift footfalls and flashes of paper.
but arabella’s thoughts drifted with the slightest breeze; things unnoticed by others whispered poems to her.
during one such idle moment she spied a spider's web; its little owner seemingly caught in reverie too.
’you alone spin your web, a singular masterpiece!’ thought arabella.
a favourite daydream bubbled to the surface, arabella knew it well and kept it simmering gently in her mind…
….one morning she would pass through silent gates and hushed rooms, their usual whir and din stilled. an empty version of her world.
on this silent day she would be master, muse and maid.
but, with all the choice in the world, what would one do? sit at the boss’s desk or explore the kitchen cupboards? dance through the halls? take paint to the walls?
neither worker ant, nor bee, was this a transformation, like a butterfly? ‘no,’ thought arabella, ‘i’ve always been the same, but now I can choose my own way.’
‘crystalline, spidery and clean, I’ll spin my web all day.’
writer + dancer
emma lister, MAKE//SHIFT company
art direction + photography + dress
alice williamson, designed by alice