Kate Breakey’s early training as a painter and printmaker makes her regard photographs as a starting point – surfaces to embellish. She paints and draws on them, gilds, and sometimes embroiders her images which are all invariably about her fascination and wonder of the natural world.
Kate is internationally known for her large-scale, richly hand-colored photographs including her acclaimed series of luminous portraits of birds, flowers and animals in a series called Small Deaths published in 2001 by University of Texas Press. Other monographs include, Painted Light, 2010, a career retrospective that encompasses a quarter century of prolific image making and Slow Light, Published by Etherton Gallery in 2011. Her collection of photograms, entitled Las Sombras/The Shadows was published by University of Texas Press in 2012. This series is a continuation of her lifetime investigation of the natural world which in her own words is “brimming with fantastic mysterious beautiful things.”
Born in Australia in 1957, Breakey received her master’s degree from the University of Texas, Austin. Since 1980 her work has appeared in over 120 solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Australia, Japan, and France. Her collections include the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, The Australian National Gallery, and the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, as well as various private collections. She has resided in the Tucson, Arizona for 22 years and teaches workshops nationally and internationally.