Artist Statement and Bio
Photography is a necessary, inevitable component of her project. Certainly these images would reverberate much differently if they did not give us clues to their photographic basis. By the same token, they would echo in quite different fashion if they prioritized impartial observation over poetic engagement and interpretation. Of the media she blends in her work, Breakey says, "I begin with a photograph — a highly convincing illusion, a map of reality, a piece of evidence rendered in silver-grey tones. This I smear and coat with oil paint in many transparent layers — the layers of emotional subjectivity — lies, dreams, delusions, exaggerations and embellishments. If I am lucky the media combine, become enmeshed and inseparable, a curious marriage of what might be real and what is imagined or desired. They now collude to play with my perceptions about what truth is, my favourite game. I am a sensualist. I admit to my seduction by texture, colour, light and form. It is my deepest pleasure, my lovely addiction."
Kate Breakey was born in August of 1957 in Adelaide, South Australia, the daughter of nature lovers. She grew up some 200 miles west of there, in the coastal fishing town of Port Lincoln, where she wandered the countryside in her childhood and adolescence, discovering in herself a rapport with the natural world. She earned a B.F.A. from the University of South Australia in 1981. During that period she found photography, or vice versa, acting upon what she calls "my own animal longing to distill color and light into explanations."