Katie Breckon

The artist making work in the Western Australian Outback

I am a multi-disciplined artist, educator and remote community arts worker based in the Kimberley, North-West Australia. After studying at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, I travelled to the Kimberley outback to gain a fresh perspective on Australia. This experience introduced me to Australia’s rich cultural heritage and motivated my decision to live and work in remote communities. After teaching photography within the New Zealand education system, I returned to Australia searching for opportunities within remote community arts organisations. After several short-term placements in Arnhem Land, I returned to the West Kimberley region in 2012, where I managed the development of a remote Aboriginal collection and media space until 2018. I am currently finalising the curation of the Mowanjum Museum opening mid-2020 and managing the art program at a local High School.

My artwork consistently explores personal narratives. Currently, I’m focused on digesting my experiences living in the remote Kimberley outback, mapping tracks I have travelled as a remote arts worker, looking closely at the landscape its form and colour.

My art practice moves between different mediums and the materials I use change depending on the concept or story I am exploring. I commonly move between printmaking, two and three-dimensional drawing, and analogue and digital photography. I use wet plate photography to produce dark tones and rich shadows, which depict a mysterious quality within my work. I prefer slow photographic chemical techniques that interact with the image as it is processing.

The Kimberley region of northwest Australia is wild and remote, and I have been fortunate to spend the last eight years working alongside Worrorra and Ngarinyin traditional owners who have taught me to value my own story, and to see the landscape in new ways. Cultural protocols around storytelling have encouraged me to share my personal stories and to question the historical contexts by which non-indigenous people have accessed and interfered with this landscape.

Katie Breckon, 2020