Karen Miranda Abel is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto. Abel’s durational field studies and site-sensitive elemental installations approach artistic practice as environment and process. Light and spatial relationships are tools and collaborators in a research-intensive slow art practice in which she ultimately realizes her works as conceptual gardens cultivated in time and place. Her atmospheric installations and reflecting pools are gestures as part of an overarching non-anthropocentric contemplation of natural phenomena and geologic time. Central to her practice are experiential and reciprocal research methods conducted with ethical sensitivity and integrity towards fragile ecologies and cultural understandings of place. Currently working within a conceptual triad: water, earth and fire (light), Abel experiences these artistic principles through a considered materiality, carefully selecting components for her works using only these three fundamental elements. She conscientiously works with naturally-occurring raw materials such as water, earth and stone, as well as materials that are salvaged or can be recycled indefinitely such as glass and metal.
Abel’s work has been featured in Canadian Art and exhibited internationally. She has held artist residences in Nova Scotia (Canada), Australia, Chile, Spain and the USA, and received grants and awards from the Ontario Arts Council, DesignTO, Ontario Science Centre and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. Awarded the 2017-2018 Blue Mountains Cultural Centre World Heritage Artist in Residence, she realized her first international solo exhibition, Karen Miranda Abel: Liminal Refugia, at the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, Australia, in 2018. She holds an interdisciplinary Master in Environmental Studies from York University in Environmental Art Practice, Cultural Production and Fine Art. Early works include public art gardens and community-engaged ecological art projects with the Ontario Science Centre and Walpole Island First Nation Heritage Centre. A naturalist and environmentalist, Abel has also worked professionally in natural heritage conservation and ecology in Ontario for over a decade.
The following organizations are gratefully acknowledged for providing funding support