In Dani Dale’s multi-media works she explores the themes of identity, femininity, loss, and the limitations and consequences of established gender roles. She draws upon personal experience and the death of her mother as well as current issues such as climate change, environmental degradation, and food accessibility.
In opposition to the limits that gender roles place on women, Dale’s body of work strives to be free of such limitations. She works with several mediums and her practice includes but is not limited to sculpture, photography, video, and installation.
In her sculptural work, Dale uses metal and plant life as her primary materials. The tension between the organic and untamed aspects of nature and manufactured structure is the inspiration for her work. Dale addresses this tension on a personal level questioning the constructed form of femininity that is imposed on us as we grow up and the consequences of those impositions. This tension reaches far beyond the personal realm, it can be seen on a global level as we face the reality of the consequences of global degradation and climate change.
Dale’s photography uses barren landscapes printed in cyanotype to address both the barren inner landscape that the imposition of a constructed femininity creates as well as a warning of what is to come on a large scale if we choose to continue seeing ourselves as separate and superior to the earth.
Dale’s exploration of limitation and separation isn’t limited to gender roles. In the final years of her BFA at the University of Saskatchewan, she was the student leader of Usask STEAM; a collaboration among artists and engineers. Usask STEAM created several collaborative works including an installation for Saskatoon’s Nuit Blanche 2016. Inspired by Olafur Eliasson’s multi-disciplinary practice and belief that art is the starting point for social change, collaboration has become an important motivation in her work. She has worked with people from a variety of different disciplines including engineering, drama, and microbiology.