Carmen Arbós

“All the bad things I went through have brought me to all the good”

In the constant search for the self, confronting and overcoming fears, Carmen Arbós (Palma, 1995) has learned to know who she is and what she wants. Now she enjoys painting, photographing and illustrating in her little cabin in the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana.

“For me, enjoyment is being as closely connected as possible to the present. I don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. I think about now. And happiness comes with enjoyment. It’s the excitement of doing something, and the subconscious only thinks about that thing. It’s a euphoria that comes without making any decisions. It just happens”. In a small cabin, with a surface area of just 40 square metres, between Esporles and Valldemossa - an open-plan space without doors, with a bunk bed, a settee, a cooker, a table and a fireplace - Carmen feels a plenitude she has not always enjoyed. Her new home allows her to get away “from the noise of Palma” and come closer to herself, in the middle of the countryside and the heart of the Serra de Tramuntana.

Her mother tells Carmen that she took a long time to learn how to walk because she loved doing things with her hands; walking was secondary for her. She also remembers that as a child, they would spend summers “in a little stone house without water or electricity near Sa Ràpita. The only amusement I had was doing things with my hands, and my father would bring me sheets of paper to paint on, books… but the best toys for me were stones. I would look for ways to entertain myself and have fun with them, I even created a village with my father”, she recalls.

At the age of 18, her mother encouraged her not to make any hasty decisions about her future, and to go to London. “I arrived feeling very excited and very scared. In Mallorca I had everything, and over there I had to open up, I felt like an ant. I overcame that fear because you have to confront situations the way they are. I went to London with very unclear ideas about myself, my personality wasn’t very well developed, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, what I would take up, and I had to process it all alone, in a place where I didn’t have the support of my family and friends, with a different culture and language. But now I realise that all the bad things I went through have brought me to all the good, that I took decisions on my own and that was how I learned”.

Carmen went to London to study illustration “because there, they invited me to experiment and include what we needed to feel more comfortable. So I started experimenting more with painting, ceramics and video”.

After completing her studies she decided to travel around Central and South America. “I learned to go outside of my comfort zone, of the part of me that felt sheltered, because when you go abroad and travel, you find different ways of life and principles, and you see a different world”. Photography began to draw her attention when she travelled to Peru and Cuba - “I used it to express what I experienced, and it is the basis I use to create my paintings”, she explains.

For Carmen, confronting a work “is playing”; she has always been struck by the [...]


Read this article in full in IN PALMA 73. And if you like, subscribe to IN PALMA for 1 year and get the next 4 issues of the magazine delivered to your home.

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