Artwork exploring the “hidden violence that lurks within the family home“ has won this year’s Eastern Approaches competition.

Arabel Rosillo de Blas captured the judges. attention with her mixed media work Homescape #31, which features melded together dollhouse furniture dripping with red paint.

The Spanish-born artist, who now lives in Bedford, has won the opportunity to hold a solo exhibition of her work at the University of Hertfordshire Galleries in St Albans next year.

“It is a great, great honour to win this prize,“ says Arabel, who has a Masters degree in design from Central Saint Martins.

“It came as a big surprise, but also at the perfect moment in my career to be able to make the most of the solo show. “Opposite to what some people might think, I believe living in the Eastern region, basically not London, is full of possibilities.

“It has definitely been very helpful for my work and its involvement with local communities, organisations and local companies.“ The visual artist uses different scales and mediums and craft techniques to create her layered artwork and describes it as invoking “a personal and collective memory“.

She has worked in Holland, Spain and the UK, and has also travelled through the Far East and says: “I am particularly interested in material culture and women’s tactile environment.

“I am attracted to the juxtaposition of traditionally domestic daily tasks and the hidden violence that lurks within the family home: knitting and soap rubbing up against the sharp knife skinning a rabbit.

“The figure of the grandmother and all those objects contained within the context of ‘the house’“ are the source of my inspiration.

“My works become a reconciliation between old narratives and the new ones born out of them.“ You can see her winning submission at UH Galleries in the Museum of St Albans from now until January 11, along with a hand-picked selection of some of the other entries.

Nearly 200 artists from across the region submitted work to the 15th annual open submission exhibition, which is open to the alumni of the university or artists living, working or studying in the Eastern region (Herts, Beds, Cambs, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk) Of those, 24 were chosen to exhibit their work at the Galleries and 15 were awarded runner-up prizes including Claire Pringle and Margaret Payne, both from St Albans, and Katy Gillian-Hull from Hatfield.

UH Galleries, Museum of St Albans, Hatfield Road, St Albans, until January 11, Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 2pm to 5pm. Details: 01727 819340,