Kate Breakey: Journey
“The exhibition title ‘Journey’ refers to both my own life’s journey, ‘looking’, as well as the visual journey I want to share with you.” -Kate Breakey
For this exhibition, Journey, Kate Breakey draws from several bodies of work made over several decades of image making. Breakey has always altered her photographic images. Over her 40-year career, her techniques include hand coloring – laying the surface with pencil, oil paint, or pastel, gilding images on glass (orotones) encaustic wax, and embroidering on silk, which she attributes to her early art school training in printmaking and painting.
Artwork featured in the exhibition range in size, media, and subject matter. The artwork takes us on a journey of her various obsessions that include astronomical images, skies, clouds, oceans, trees, nests, shells, flowers, and animals. This exhibition includes new work created especially for The Grace Museum. It is curated to be a circular visual poem with each individual image leading to the next. Corresponding text will relate a short story, explaining time and place in the continuum of the artists oeuvre. The collection of images in the gallery can be viewed as a shrine to Breakey’s reverence for the beauty, wonder, and diversity of the natural world. Breakey is best known for her work Small Deaths memorializing hundreds of dead birds. She has more recently made large series of bird’s nests and quail eggs. Her interest in the natural world extends outward to include grass and seaweed, tumbleweeds, and beach stones fascinated by the shapes, colors and textures, and the scale.
“When I look at the moon, I am very small, and when I hold a quail egg, I very large, but the experience is the same one – awe. For me the process of looking and recording – transforming these objects into works of art on a wall – making them precious, honoring them – also transforms me. My work is simply a desire to point out how beautiful it all is if you just stand back, or lean in, and look.”