Pivoting: an essential ingredient to my art practice

Adapting and pivoting is an important part, I believe, of growing as an artist. I have learned many things during the residency in Iceland, and the one feature that has had a dominant impact on my art-in-place practice has been learning to embraces the alterations the natural environment has imposed on my practice as I explore the Icelandic environment and unique material found within it.

Setting out with a plan is important to me, but equally important, I’m discovering, is adapting that plan to the elements I encounter along the way. This is not always easy for me. I can get very attached to my plan and see anything short of it as a failure. This approach, I have learned, can deny me the magic and beauty of unforeseen and unexpected results. In Iceland, I am working with natural elements; they are my collaborators, but I can not control the wind, rain, snow, hail or lack of sun that we have experienced while in Blönduós. My work involves creating cyanotypes by using the natural movements of ocean waves or the flow of a stream. During the process I may place material found in the vicinity on the canvas or paper, such as seaweed, sand and rocks, or they may find themselves picked up during the act of submerging the material. Sometimes the wind blows things onto the canvas, sometimes it blows it off, and sometimes a dog, who is very excited to see me, walks all over my work. As with any collaboration, we must work together, make compromises and embrace those unexpected outcomes. That is what Blönduós is teaching me. 

Icelandic landscape of mountains and valley with blue sky and clouds.
Choose a direction to explore. When your are done, explore another.

Instagram: @dalejcrockett

Website: https://www.dalecrockett.com/