We visited Dawn Breeze at her studio, all sun dappled amidst the flowers and trees, post-making for her solo show Wear the Earth: It becomes You at the Re-Institute. A full day of handwritten notes in artist made ink, plastic from Iceland, hands in earth to pick ground cover and of course mulberry picking for something as sweet as our conversation.
In her own words...
DAWN BREEZE 41 YEARS OLD
FAVORITE COLOR: GOLDENROD
What’s your favorite place:
My favorite place is on a beach on Martha's Vineyard, with my eyes closed and the warmth of sun on my almost naked body and the sound of waves, birds, and children in my ears
What was a pivotal project, person or experience that shaped your practice:
Being in Iceland was pivotal to my practice because I was there alone in great vastness and solitude. The scale of the barren landscape, the upside down horizon line, the endless summer light--all we're incredibly disorienting, opening me to literally a different perspective and possible existence. My sister dying and my son's birth opened me to another reality, one of impermanence, and connected me to my purpose of working with people to help support transformation.
3 Favorite Books:
Stride to Freedom, MLK
All ABout Love, Bells Hooks
Courage to Create, Dr. R May
*I have about 300 favorite books - but these are first to mind this minute
Which artists inspire you/ why:
Joseph Beuys inspires me by his relentless ambition to radicalize art to be social change for good (action) and to include everyone into the identity of artist. I love his aesthetics and interest in materiality and how they informed his conceptual thinking which eventually became his politics
What is Art: Art is beauty. Art is the quest for truth. Art is what we make, do, imagine, see. Art is life.
How do you identify as an artist:
I identify as an interdisciplinary artist--
--with a focus towards social engagement and liberatory design
Many social artists dislike Joseph Beuys term 'Social Sculptor' because there is criticism that it implies sculpting people. I personally resonate with it, because I think the social is bigger than the person, I think the social is the "we".
The social is all of life, we are interdependent, one living eco-system. The social is fractal, in the sense of co-occuring between the past, present and future.
I believe that ideas are energetic formations that can be sculpted.
I identify as this artist, one that is creating and sculpting forms between us, with you, and for our future, together. Forms that may not even be visible.
What is the value of art?
the value of art is that it offers new perspectives, possibilities, and ideas -- as well as shines light on what is
What is your greatest challenge as an artist:
My greatest challenge as an artist is staying flexible to my own evolution
and maintaining the courage to continue
Constants in your practice:
Current interests are pretty much constants, like: perception of things and how we might re-imagine them.
I'm interested in nature, garbage/waste, transformation, healing, love, beauty, plastic, dirt and people.
What has been a victory for you as an artist:
There have been many victories along my way as an artist. My greatest victories art the "Thank-You's" I've received by others for somehow helping them as artists
What's Next: I seem to be working more and more consulting with other creatives + enterprises to help them realize their authentic potential. I love this as a practice. It's so satisfying to be able to share my skills as an artist in a way that manifests in larger and more diverse applications with others. I also have a beautiful book, Breathe40x that is an artist edition of poetry being released this month. I will be reading from it at the Volume Reading series July 14th at 7pm at the Spotty Dog in Hudson, NY--hope you can come! I also am co-designing an experiential learning program, Place Corps, for 18-25yr olds that will be launching here in the Hudson Valley in 2019, with the Good Work Institute and Hawthorne Valley Association.