DANIELLE RANTE

Artist statement

Rante works in drawing, painting, paper cutting, carbon transfers and tableaus of small organic objects. Sourcing material directly from the environments she visits, Rante’s practice incorporates site-specific field research into geographical happenings, direct interaction with the landscape and its inhabitants, and meditative mark-making. Akin to a botanist collecting live plant specimens in the wild, or an astronomist mapping locations beyond the earth’s atmosphere, Rante is interested in the meeting place between the physical environment we encounter and the narratives of a place. She explores our cultural subjectivity in relation to historical events or shifts in the landscape, investigating collective and personal speculation, while remaining a present witness.

Back in the studio she finds her meditation in the intimacy of line, pattern and repetition—marking time’s passing: “The marks, paper cutting and line work that depict the way systems form, plants grow and particles move develops largely through spontaneous linear improvisation.  Before I begin, I have a sense of the way the piece will move, but I prefer to let each line inform the next. This allows for long stretches of meditative immersion in the continual flow of the work. This repetitious line creates optically disruptive, hypnotic patterns that help dislocate the viewer from our ordinary, hard reality and offer a glimpse of a more spacious, un-tethered awareness.”

This new body of work, Held In Air, stems from Rante’s time in residence in northern Iceland, where geographic extremes existing in this small land mass have profound effects on earth’s surface, hundreds of thousands of miles away. Held In Air is a reflection on the transformations and mutations present in this rugged land mass. The installation Skagaströnd Wish 65°82′N 20°30′W is a large sky map made with cyanotypes from botanicals collected in the region where Rante was in residence. Collecting herbs and flowers on hikes to the local mountain, she exposed these botanicals on paper coated with a light sensitive emulsion on the summer solstice, a day when the stars do not shine in Iceland and the sun hovered at the horizon through the night.  Another work, Hekla and Katla: Two Orbs of Buried Stars layers the positions of the stars from selected large eruptions of the two sister volcanos from the 1700’s to the most recent (tiny eruption) in 1991.  Like Skagaströnd Wish, the dark blue orbs are cyanotypes made with small lava rock collected from the base of Eyjafjallajökull, with the subsequent layers silkscreened and cut. From the intricacies of the cut fissures, the delicately drawn forms with carbon and pencil and the motifs that emerge, anhomage to this distant ethereal place is crafted.

Danielle lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Drawing at Wright State University. She received her M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of Iowa in 2006. She has exhibited work nationally and internationally, including the International Print Center New York (NY, NY), Hudson D. Walker Gallery (Provincetown, MA) and Shanxi University Art Gallery (China). Her work has been featured in New American Paintings (Volume 89) and in the Drawing Center’s curated Artist Registry and Viewing Program.   She has attended residencies at The Headlands Center for the Arts (Sausalito CA), Nes (Skagastrond, Iceland) Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown MA) and Philadelphia Art Hotel (Philadelphia PA).

Artist Statement

My work resides in a space between being intimately beautiful yet conceptually can touch on dark moments. Part of my practice is to travel to a place for a period of time and absorb as much as I can with an outsider’s eye.  Sourcing material directly from the environment, I use objects or images a way to reflect on the personal and collective experience of a place.  I explore my own subjectivity in relation to things past, to past events, to future speculations while remaining a present witness.  I do this in the studio by making work in intimate ways, such as cutting delicate patterns in paper, painting with tiny brushes, drawing details with pencils and carbon paper and arranging small organic objects.  Overall, I equate my process as one akin to meditation rather than image making or craft. Repetition is employed to mark time’s passing, and with it I build elaborate surfaces covered with minute hand embellishment.  In this private, performative act of making I become both a witness and a recorder.