South Arts Spotlight: Becky Alley of Kentucky

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Becky Alley - headshot
Becky Alley.

Lexington-based artist Becky Alley was the Kentucky finalist for the new Southern Prize, given by South Arts. In her mixed-media installation, she imbues ephemeral materials with weighty meaning. Leaves, yarn, and burnt matches, for example, represent fallen soldiers or civilian casualties in Iraq as a result of the US “Shock and Awe” campaign.
Alley earned an MFA in studio art from the University of Kansas in 2005, and a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. She is currently gallery director and lecturer at the University of Kentucky and visiting instructor at Transylvania University.
Becky Alley
Becky Alley, Fallen, 2008-16, clothespins, string, and 4,503 leaves representing fallen United States soldiers who lost their lives in Iraq since “Shock and Awe” in March 2003. (Photo: Frank Döring)

Becky Alley
Becky Alley Burn, 2016, approx. 11 by 2 feet by 10 inches, 112,000 partially burned matches represent the 112,000 civilian casualties since the US invasion of Iraq.

Becky Alley, Burn (detail)
Becky Alley, Burn (detail), 2016; 112,000 matches, approx. 11 feet by 2 feet by 10 inches.

Becky Alley, Unmended
Unmended, 2010-16, 320 needles, red yarn, 11 by 68 by 12 inches. Each needle and thread represents one non-US military death in Iraq since “Shock and Awe” began in March 2003. (Photo: Frank Döring)

Becky Alley, Unmended (detail)
Unmended (detail), 2010-16, 320 needles, red yarn, 11 by 68 by 12 inches. Each needle and thread represents one non-US military death in Iraq since “Shock and Awe” began in March 2003. (Photo: Frank Döring)

Becky Alley, Epitaphs for Edwards
Becky Alley, Epitaphs for Edwards, 2016; 220 artist books, each with a handmade needlepoint inside.

Becky Alley, Epitaphs for Edwards (detail)
Becky Alley, Epitaphs for Edwards (detail), 2016; 220 artist books, each with a handmade needlepoint inside.