I’ve tried to write about Katie three times. Each time, I got to a point and had to stop. Today, I begin to write again.
As I reflect back on things that Katie said and then the unspoken power of her sculpture, I am left somehow overwhelmed. It seems to me that she is some version of a fireball. She is compacted energy that has been burning deeply for a lifetime and in connection with that light, I was left in awe. So, once in awe, I had to go looking for a poem.
No luck. I found no poem for Katie Ohe. That, in itself, is unbelievable. However, the act of looking for a poem caused me to sit for most of that particular afternoon, reading poetry, and that can’t be all bad.
After some days…more than a week…I found this. It describes something of Katie Ohe.
A short version, my version, of one of Katie’s stories (and really, you need Katie to tell YOU her story…nothing compares).
Katie’s Dad gave Katie and her brother each a potato to peel. Katie created a long spiral of peel…I think she said that she tried to peel the entire potato in a single peel. (Her brother doesn’t even remember this, but Katie does.) Her father then attached the end of her peel to a pin or a needle, suspended it by a string and then set the peel to spinning. This image has stuck with her all of these years. (The metaphor…the image of the twirling potato peel offered up in this narrative, illuminated some very basic principles of Katie’s work…at least I think so!)
Katie spoke of Weeping Bees and Typhoon…and so much more and shared her studio space with us. I was in awe the entire time. I was left speechless.
Katie Ohe IS a poem.