Image: Katie Breckon, Hill near Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges (detail), 2021, incised paint on aluminium, 160 x 120 cm. Photography by Emma Daisy. Image courtesy the artist

Katie Breckon is an Aotearoa-born artist, educator and remote community arts worker whose practice explores the transient and transformative notion of home and questions one’s place in the natural world.

In Backtrack, Breckon explores expanded drawing and mark making practices through the lens of mapping personal and physical geographies.

Having lived, worked and travelled on Nyikina, Ngarinyin, and Worrorra Country in the West Kimberley region of Western Australia for a decade, Backtrack acts as an abstracted record of that time, retracing landmarks of personal significance to the artist and creating an archive that renders memory as an act of reflective catharsis.

Curated by Glenn Iseger-Pilkington with the artist

Conversation with The Assembly

Audio excerpts from Conversations with the Assembly, a podcast produced by Cristian Tablazon as part of Regional Assembly, an online artist studio run by Regional Arts Australia.

Statement from the artist

“Living in the West Kimberley for over a decade, immersed in nature, has been a defining life experience. Besides living off the grid in the savannah surrounding the town of Derby. Working as a remote arts worker, I would regularly move through Wandjina Wunggurr territories while supporting community art and heritage recording projects.

The Kimberley wilderness is vastly different to my New Zealand homeland. The region’s isolation and idiosyncrasies made sharing experiences outside a small local network challenging.

This body of work uses drawing to reflect, process and share fragments of my story as an arts worker in the West Kimberley. Rendering memories as a cathartic process, rather than drafting an accurate, archival record of an event or moment in time.

My drawing style creates obscured images that emphasise form, tone and intricate mark-making, giving the viewer an impression rather than a clear view into a scene. The drawings reference documentation of past bush trips and more recent observational recordings.”

Marawar-ak | From the West

This exhibition is part of Marawar-ak | From the West: Contemporary Art from Western Australia,  a celebration of Western Australian art which showcases artists working across design, animation, sculpture, drawing and installation practices.

This exhibition season is inspired by the return of cooling winds towards the end of the year, during Kambarang, Birak and Bunuru, which bring relief at the end of hot summer days.

The exhibitions, feature works of art that survey the lands we live upon, explore the ways we make meaning of the world and others that transport us to imaginary worlds. They celebrate our artists and our place in the world and place focus on stories borne from our vast State.

Comprised of four independent exhibitions, Marawar-ak presents stories of regional and remote life, love, family, grief, choice, sacrifice, alongside works that map geography and memory.