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Las Sombras / The Shadows: Photograms Creatures of Light and Darkness: New Work

Bobcat (Felis rufus) by Kate Breakey, photogram

AUGUST 27, 2012 – JULY 7, 2013



Las Sombras/The Shadows features work Australian native Kate Breakey created after moving to Arizona in 1999. Making pictures without a camera like William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins in the nineteenth century, Breakey also shares their affinity for recording the natural world in scientific detail as well as with artistic beauty. Her contact prints—known as photograms—have the sepia-toned look of Victorian images, yet their sensibility is distinctly modern. Luminous coyotes and whipsnakes, mice, rabbits, quail, cactus, moths and scorpions are imbued with her affection for the flora and fauna that inhabit the American Southwest, which is now her home. As she says, “The natural world is full of wondrous things to look at and to chronicle and catalogue. In my own way, I have devoted myself to that end.” Over 200 photograms, which Breakey donated to the Wittliff Collections and arranged salon style for the show, are on display, along with images from her newest series, Creatures of Light and Darkness, which are also on view through July 7.  Las Sombras/The Shadows celebrates the latest volume in the Wittliff’s Southwestern & Mexican Photography book series with the University of Texas Press.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO of the Las Sombras exhibition talk at the Wittliff on November 10, 2012.

[above] Bobcat (Felis rufus) by Kate Breakey, from Las Sombras / The Shadows

Below: Kate Breakey talks about Creatures of Light and Darkness at the Temple of Music and Art in the city of Tucson, Arizona, where she lives. See many of these same images at Texas State's Wittliff Collections through July 7, 2013: