Danielle M Dean

MFA ’17 Photography

My 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 and spirituality. Photography lies at the core of my artistic practice, but my pieces are ultimately multidisciplinary. I use the dimensional space of photography in new ways, combining 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. This work encourages an awareness of how the natural realm sustains us and what we can do to preserve the environment, both for our own well-being and for the future of our planet.

Danielle Dean is an artist, educator, and curator based on San Juan Island in Washington State. Recent exhibitions of her work have taken place at Blue Sky Gallery, San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Amazon Headquarters, and the Aperture Foundation. Recent artist residencies include The Studios at Mass MoCA, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore, India.