What I stand for is what I stand on"  /2017 /tempera made from natural homemade pigments / burlap / 120cm x 80cm

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I was preparing for my Artist-in-Residency at Loam, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my journey toward sustainable art. Ever since I have started work as a cradle-to-cradle artist, many people have asked me about when I became an environmental artist. As I searched through my work and my life for the answer, I struggled to find a clear starting point. Because in reality, everything that I have done so far, every experience I have lived, every work that I have made, every step along the way, has brought me to where I am now.

When you work the way that I do, everything is connected. There is no on/off modus. My home, my personal life, my work as teacher, my children, my food—it's all connected. So it is not like I woke up one day and decided to “do” cradle-to-cradle art. It's always been part of my evolving journey. 

When I graduated art school many years ago, I felt lost. The path that lay ahead of me was clear, but I wasn’t sure whether I liked where it would lead me. I followed for some years anyway, making art, going to galleries, networking. It felt all wrong, trying to be something I knew I wasn’t and worse, someone that I didn’t even aspire to be. I believe this happens to a lot of us. We tend to tag along, doing what is expected of us, following the path that so many have tread before.

So I paused and watched others go by and chose to steer in another direction. I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I had to find another way. It's scary sometimes, finding my own way, putting myself out there. It's vulnerable. But I am my art and my art is me and I hope to inspire you to join me on my journey. Pause, stop, look around, think, feel, reflect and make your own path, remembering that every choice will change your journey and that of many others, because it will leave new trails for those who are looking for different ways. 

if you want to know more about Dorieke's journey, visit

Kate WeinerComment