Danielle M Dean

Salish Sea: Selected Seascapes

Statement

An Island can be a refuge, evoking feelings of escape and solitude, beauty and abundance. For over fifteen years, I have lived and worked on San Juan Island, a seven-mile stretch of land in the Salish Sea. I get suited up for long periods in the cold waters. Setting my eyes directly on the water line, the ocean expands below and the sky stretches above, blending in harmonies of blue. I want my work to inhabit the threshold between vastness and intimacy.

I use a combination of techniques—photography, painting, printmaking, and sculpture—to explore the concepts of light, the elements, the alchemy of nature and chance. I am interested in how these inform our personal notions of home, our sense of place. This work is born out of a series of meditations. It is a dialogue with places of natural phenomena and a study of environmental rhythms. My goal for the viewer is to be immersed in these meditations, finding connections to their own ecology, culture, and spirituality.

Photography lies at the core of my artistic practice, but I combine traditional photographic techniques with painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation. My images typically start with black and white film shot through antiquated lenses. The lack of control allows the light and atmosphere of the environment to enter the camera and impress itself on the silver halide of the film. The negative is then hand developed, scanned, and printed onto cotton rag paper, ready to receive a mixture of mediums, layered until the desired atmosphere is achieved. These works combine analog and digital technologies to create a final unique piece that blurs the lines between photography and painting. With my sculptures, I often work directly with the land by burying the objects or submerging them in water. This direct collaboration with the environment gives the work a geographical patina, amplifying the sense of place.

 

Join the conversation