Danielle Dean is an artist, educator, and curator based on San Juan Island in Washington
State. She received an MFA in photography at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and
her work is included in public and private collections throughout the country. Recent
exhibitions have taken place at the Bakalar and Paine Galleries, Blue Sky Gallery, The Center
for Fine Art Photography, San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Amazon Headquarters, and the
Aperture Foundation. She has received numerous awards, including the 2019 MassArt
Fellowship/Residency at the Studios at Mass MoCA, 2018 LensCulture International Art
Photography Awards, and Blue Sky Gallery’s 2018 Artist Residency at the Sitka Center for Art
and Ecology. Gallery BOM in Boston, Massachusetts, represents her work.
Artist’s statement: 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 concepts interact, and how we interact with them, to inform our personal notions
of home and our sense of place in the world. Each of my pieces is born out of a series of
meditations; they are works in dialogue with places of natural phenomena and the study of
environmental rhythms. My goal for the viewer is to be immersed in these meditations,
ultimately examining their own connection to their environment. Awareness of how the natural
world sustains us is critical, both for our own well-being and for the future of our planet.
My installation for Deep Dive begins with a gathering of lead vessels that recall the Coast
Salish canoes that traversed the Salish Sea for hundreds of years. The interior of the vessels
are coated with a salt residue that has built over time with the evaporation of salt water from
the Salish Sea. This natural occurrence speaks to both the passage of time and a sense of
loss. The large format image behind the vessels is a rendering of the Salish Sea. This piece
was created through a multi- layered process that includes photography, painting and both
analog and digital technologies. In installing these works together my hope is cultivate a sense
of immersion, contemplation, and ultimately activism. In preparing for this exhibition, Dr.
Deborah A. Giles gathered for me a list of the Southern Resident Orcas that have died since
the ESA added them to the Endangered Species on November 18th, 2005. Shockingly 50
SRKW have perished since they have become a protected species. Much work is needed to
correct this loss and restore balance and health to our sea.