Works by Katherine Akey
September 24 - October 30, 2021
Marlene and Spencer Hays Foundation Gallery
Virtual Artist Talk
Monday, October 18, 2021
Through photography, printmaking, fiber art, and writing my work focuses on the transformation of human experience, especially that of trauma and conflict. Much of this is an exploration of the change of experience from history to myth, from mourning to commemorating. But I always try to do this exploration through the experiences of individuals. Antoine de Saint-Exupery wrote that when a man dies an unknown world dies with him; photographic archives as well as personal histories, these are what is left when that unknown world disappears, these are where we can connect to the humanity of the past, these are where I excavate. My childhood was spent climbing through archaeological sites with my parents; their academic practice is the foundation of how I make sense of the world, dusty sites and overflowing vitrines that fill my memory. Now as an artist I explore history with my own archaeological tools, seeking the marks of individuals as they transform and fade with time.
Katherine Akey is an artist and historian based in San Francisco, CA. Her work addresses adventure, the human spirit, and the negative space in personal and collective memory with a focus on polar exploration and the First World War. Her practice includes photography, printmaking, fiber arts, and creative writing. She has an MFA in Photography from the International Center of Photography, was a Fellow with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs with their project “The Living Legacy of World War One”, and teaches photography and art theory at both an undergraduate and graduate level.