In an age when the land has become a ghost, a cardboard prop through which most of us merely walk through, Kathy Reed and Steven Breaux have been concerned about connecting with the land in an urban environment.
We are attempting to make connections with the piece of land upon which we live, in this particular location, with all of its natural elements and historical and cultural implications, in order to bridge various aspects of ourselves- including our personal histories.
For the past 25 years we have concentrated almost entirely on the small, urban property within which we co-inhabit. We desire to connect with the earth, urging the land to respond to us as artists.
Though we want to personally connect to the 400-year history of the Acadians in Nova Scotia and Louisiana, to link to a past in which the inhabitants depended upon the ritual of farming and harvesting in order to survive, we now connect to world cultures and universal concerns.
We want to fulfill a need like hunger. We plant silk-seed in order to harvest the fruits of an image to satisfy a hunger, not for food but for creative production. The interchange with the earth, the participation of the earth, the land, is crucial to our work. Our engagement with the land recalls the engagement of the farmer. Our farming is a quest for the nourishment of the creative peasant, feeding the aesthetic entity.
Kathy and Steve live in the middle of a city where the elements of the earth, of nature, take a back seat to technology. We are surrounded by objects that humans have made, and which are created in simulation of ourselves: digital cameras, computers with its myriad of offspring, etc. For only a brief time have they occupied our attention and focused our desires. They have been objects of want. We have used them to recreate our imaginations and to alter our moods and to entertain ourselves. As artists we have come to think of them as contributing to the idea of a simulated reality, a simulacra. Acknowledging this state of affairs we are re-activating the ancient essence of the land through symbolic ritual and art making.