KAREN MIRANDA ABEL Veil of Time 2018, glass, earth samples contributed by participants of the GEODIVERSITY project, 23 pieces, dimensions variable. Purchased through the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Collection Acquisition Fund 2018.

Karen Miranda Abel is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Abel’s durational field studies and site-sensitive elemental installations approach art as environment and process. The interplay of light and spatial relationships are tools and collaborators in her research-intensive practice and she ultimately views her works as conceptual gardens cultivated in time and place.

Karen Miranda Abel was the 2018 World Heritage Artist in Residence and exhibited Liminal Refugia in the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery in April 2018. The work Veil of Time was part of this exhibition.

Artwork Statement

A constellation of earth samples gathered by over 65 individuals in the Greater Blue Mountains, was ground and finely sieved by the artist to create Veil of Time. Unravelling like a geologic time scale, a graduated array of minerals preserved in hourglasses symbolise the delicate formation of sandstone caves in which rainwater etches the quartz sandstone grains from the absorbent stone body, slowly releasing a shoreless beachscape onto the cave floor below.
From December 2017 to February 2018, residents and visitors from the Greater Blue Mountains area were invited to be part of a participatory art project about the geodiversity of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area by filling a dry specimen envelope with a small sample of natural earth. To respect the fragility and intrinsic ecological and cultural values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, participants were asked to not gather samples from Aboriginal places or sacred sites, conservation reserves, flora reserves, national parks, state conservation areas, state forests or other nature reserve areas.

This gathering of a confluence of earth samples in a public gallery space is a gesture in support of honouring the enduring existence of geoheritage values.