Photograph of artist Abi Spendlove painting with ink on her studio floor


Film by Greta Zabulyte, 2020

Abi Spendlove (b. Portsmouth, UK, 1985) is a visual artist based in Luton, UK.  She studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw and Central Saint Martins in London and completed a Fine Art MA at the University of Hertfordshire in 2018.  Her work has been exhibited internationally.  Key solo and group exhibitions include Mediator at Broadway Gallery Tributary at Storefront Gallery, and Accumulate at St Albans Museum + Gallery.  She is currently the recipient of an Arts Council Grant to support the development of a new series of sculpture.  Her work is included in collections including Zabludowicz, Franks Suss and Olivier von Schulthess. 

My practice is fuelled by a search for invisible processes and movements. I’m drawn to movements and details which are both microscopic and earth-sized. The colours and shapes of nature, water and light recur the texture of my drawings, sculpture and films. My work stands as witness to the shimmering and shifting multiplicities to be seen in the objects, spaces and materials that are at the edge, hidden-from-view, disintegrating, in the air and under the surface. 

For many years I have worked with materials that don’t last- ice and firework smoke. I’ve traced their natural shapes and patterns through ever evolving making processes. Invisible movements, for example the transformation of ice into air put the viewer in a place of unknowing or wonder— a rare and valuable space to be in a world where all things seem known.  In addition to this, I nurture practice of paying attention to the subject matter, slowing down, taking time and believing in a language which can be entirely visual.  I seek to echo the fluidity of the materials that create and inspire the work.



2015-18 University of Hertfordshire, MA Fine Art
2013-14 University of Bedfordshire, Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice
2005-8 Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, BA (Hons) Fine Art
2004-5 Byam Shaw School of Art, Foundation Diploma in Art & Design

Solo exhibitions


Medaitor, Broadway Gallery, Letchworth, September-November 2021
Partial Leftovers, Birdbox Gallery, Cambridge

A River Runs Under Your Feet, Hat Factory Arts Centre, Luton
Underfoot, Departure Lounge, Luton

Fragments, St Albans Clock Tower, St Albans
Tributary, Storefront Gallery, Luton

Group Exhibitions

Immersions: Into the River Cam, Robinson College, Cambridge
Ai mi Tagai, White Conduit Projects, London
The Wild Collective, Omved Gardens, London

When Was The Last Time You Saw The Sea?, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo, Japan

Woman Shall Inherit the Earth, Panacea Museum, Bedford
Accumulate, New Museum & Gallery, St Albans, Hertfordshire
Rock Paper Scissors, View Point, University of Hertfordshire
A Minute Ago, Zabludowicz Collection, London

25 and Counting, Panacea Museum, Bedford
MK Calling, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
e-Luminate, Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Shimmer, Framework Gallery, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

Art Language Location, University of Cambridge, Cambridge
Testing Water, Departure Lounge, Luton

Roulade, Husk, London
Eastern Approaches, St Albans Museum, Hertfordshire
Control Room, North Cabin, Bristol
The Common, TMT, The Freeholder, Luton

Parallel Lines, University of Bedfordshire, Luton

Outhouse Exhibition, Forfey Festival, Northern Ireland
Work In Process at ROTW Festival, Hertfordshire

The Re Show, Out of the Dark, High Wycombe.
Artists in Residence Exhibition, Luton Hoo Walled Garden, Luton
Time and Chance Happen to Everything, Departure Arts Centre, London
Winners Show, St Albans Museum, St Albans

Hertfordshire Open Exhibition 2010, Margaret Harvey Gallery, St Albans
Art/Value/Currency Part III, The Pigeon Wing, London
“Art in Process”, Hightown Road, Luton
Artists in Residence Exhibition, Luton Hoo Walled Garden, Luton
Art/Value/Currency Part II, Eastern District, New York
Heart Desires, Movida, London

Art/Value/Currency, The Pigeon Wing, London
Submission Freedom Fear, House Gallery, London
Deparcitecture, Departure Arts Centre, London
Highlights from the Franks Suss Collection, Hampstead, London
Screening of And So It All Comes Together, Forfey Festival, Northern Ireland
Aspects of Language and Translation, Mile End Arts Pavillion, London
A Cup of Tea Solves Everything, Departure Arts Centre, London

Voice Over Water Part II, Red Dot Art Fair, London
Siteshow, Warwick Square, London
Departures, Charlton Art Centre, Dover
CSM Fine Art Degree Show, London
Voice Over Water, Ada Street Gallery, London
Buy//Sell, Christ Church&Uplands Chapel, London

Untitled, Outwood House, Leeds
ASDA!, Tottenham Court Road Squat, London

Residencies and Awards

2023-24 Critical Mass//SCULPT
2023 AN Artist Bursary
2022 Heritage Community Engagement Fund
2022 CoLAB Body & Place Residency, Gloucestershire
2022-23 Heritage Impact Accelerator, University of Bedfordshire and National Lottery Heritage Fund
2021 DYCP grant, Arts Council England
2020  Open Lea Research and Development Commission
2019-2020  Hat Factory Arts Centre Residency, Luton 
2019  ‘Your Space’ Artist Bursary
2019  Luton Art Fund Project Commission
2017-2018  UH Galleries & St Albans Museums Artist Residency
2017  Cambridge Assessment and e-Luminate Public Art Commission
2017  Commission Projects Mentoring Programme
2015  Research Residency, Departure Lounge, Luton
2012-2013  AA2A Artist Residency, University of Bedfordshire
2014  St Albans City & District Award, Eastern Approaches
2010-2011  Luton Hoo Walled Garden Artist Residency, Bedfordshire
2010  St Albans City & District Award,  Hertfordshire Open Exhibition

Works in Collections

Olivier von Schulthess Collection
Frank Suss Collection
Zabludowicz Collection


2023 Creative Futures, University of Bedfordshire
2022 2013-2018 3D form and Drawing, University of Bedfordshire

I also run workshops in a variety of settings including schools and galleries. Recently I have run art workshops for Natural England, Luton Borough Council and the Broadway Gallery.