The title, Veils of Stone, refers to the flowing movement of water and wind. Instead of water one sees what looks like large ‘petrified waves’ incised on sandstone. I encountered this magical co-existence of two of nature’s elements, water and stone. These patterns and shapes were and are still being shaped by flash-floods. Tiny quartzite stones driven by the force of water after sudden rain in the area, chisel the rock-face.
Colours of the rainbow, imbedded in the layers of sandstone, relate to the various minerals found in the sand. Iron oxide is responsible for various shades of red. Smectite is the most predominant clay mineral in both green and grayish-white sandstone. Blues, purple and turquoise stems from manganese. Yellow in different shades of orange and beige derives from limestone, enriched with sulfate with. Magnesium in eroded stone leaves and earthy brown, while white owes its presence to calcium carbonates.
The intensity of colour saturation to the human eye, depends on the times of day and strength of sun rays slithering through cracks in the upper layer of the desert floor.
When I visited these caves a few years ago, I was struck by the paradox of heat and drought of a desert, translated into shapes of waves. A surfer’s dream..
A selection of these editioned prints on archival paper was exhibited in my first solo exhibition, The Flow of Stone in the then Waterkant art gallery in Cape Town, South Africa. The artworks found new owners locally and at the annual Affordable Art Fair in New York in 2010.
Recently, when I re-visited my computer-archive of images, the curves of the rocks elicited a new title, Veils of Stone. Not only flow of water, but the presence of another natural element, wind presented itself. The effect of a soft breeze entertaining the rocks into sensual caves, came to mind.
The search began for the right soft fabric, a fabric printing business, a seamstress to hem scarves to fold my rocks around elegant necks. When I couldn’t find a designer to re-cycle my stones into a silky delicacy, I made my own design. And found Ferial and Lovemore of LuxePrint and Hillette Stapellberg to turn thiscarve-vision into reality. Sonja of Gallery ZA Etc will test the market.
Scarves project: Veils of Stone 2023 05 28
Artist: Bettie Coetzee Lambrecht
29 May 2023