Breathing Stories | The Tower

Kate Baker and Phoebe Rose Lines. Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Jed Lanyon

Warburton’s Waterwheel Gallery played host to an exhibition by two local artists.

The exhibition, Breathing Stories – The Tower, recounts Kate Baker’s journey across Europe traversing the roots of myth and faerie tale. Ms Baker created silver gelatin photographs from each of her images.

“I wanted it to feel like a graphic illustration that could have been drawn… I wanted that timeless feel where you couldn’t tell where it is,” she said in describing one of her photographs.

To accompany Ms Baker’s work, local writer Phoebe Rose Lines created a response to each of Ms Baker’s images resulting in ‘The Tower’, the first in the series titled, Breathing Stories.

“Kate’s images are so extraordinary, she really has an art and a gift for capturing the essence of something. When I looked through these photographs, they jumped out at me.”

Through The Tower, Ms Rose Lines explores the archetypal stages of The Hero’s Journey.

“We’re looking at the architecture of psychology and story together,” Ms Rose Lines said.

“I tried to distill The Hero’s Journey into archetypal images and I’ve been working a lot with how to write non-prescriptively, so rather than the words telling us what is in the image, which is most often what we see in text and image works. The words marry with the image and help us live more deeply into it, so the words could really mean anything to anyone.”

“In The Hero’s Journey, we always have an opening image and when you work with a story, you’re always working from a place of confinement. There’s something you’re meeting that you need to change.”

Ms Rose Lines said everybody’s interpretation of the work would be different as they apply the imagery and writing to their own journey in life.

Ms Baker likened the exhibition’s story of a call to adventure to their decision to display the work on just one day’s notice coming out of lockdown.

“You can’t hold yourself. Just because we had Covid in the way, we just needed to step out and take the opportunity,” Ms Baker said.

“You leap when the opportunity has presented itself. And that’s really the message of the story as well,” Ms Rose Lines said.

“We’re seeing people who have driven out from the city, who want to seize that moment themselves.”

Ms Rose Lines said these same archetypes are used for cinema, radio and novels in crafting a journey narrative.

Sadly, the exhibition is exhibiting until 10 August where Victoria will remain under lockdown, meaning Breathing Stories – The Tower will not be able to be viewed in person.