Ring of turquoise-coloured "verdigris" patina forms as evaporation progresses in ephemeral saltwater pool.
D E S E R T P O O L S
( A T A C A M A )
Hand spun copper, water, natural salt from the Atacama Desert, Chile | 2019
Installation detail of a series of eight saltwater reflecting pools. Each hand spun copper sculpture is filled with a solution of mineral-rich salt crystals sourced from the ancient salt lake bed in the center of the Atacama Desert. Over the course of the exhibition, mineral ecologies will evolve in each pool through the processes of oxidization and crystallization activated by water.
Following 6 weeks of living in the Atacama Desert with @lawayakacurrent, Abel’s atmospheric installation is a quiet contemplation about both the conspicuous presence and stark absence of water in the magnificent and challenging temper of the Atacama. In the immediacy of the desert, one is reminded that we are made of water, and much of living relates to replenishing our physical and psychological geographies with this extraordinary substance. The work invites meditation on water’s transience and transformation, with reflection on how these fundamental processes are mirrored in the lifespan of one’s own being.
Like the “water mirrors”—circular water-filled vessels—used as reflecting pools by ancient astronomers to observe and interpret the constellations, Desert Pools (Atacama) considers an aquatic cosmovision across deep time. Whether body or landscape, everything is interconnected by the dynamism of water and always has been.
On exhibition at @harbourfrontcentre until March 3 as part of 'Surface Tension.' Commissioned by @designtofestival. Supported by the @ontarioartscouncil.
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