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Work Samples

Isolation Portrait/Day 674

"Isolation Portrait/Day 674" 2022, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn 1.75" x 6.5"- These small scale works came about in response to my time spent in isolation since the beging of lockdown, March 2020. I needed to keep my hands busy, so I focused on projects I could complete in a days time; creating a physical record of my time spent. These moments of seclusion and detachment from the world can invite an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. However it can provide an opening for introspective discovery. (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)

Rhythms Of Healing

"Rhythms of Healing" 2018- 2021, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn, 6' x 10'-Healing has never been a straight line. It ebbs and flows. Here I look back at the progress I have made in both physical wellness and appreciation for my body as it is in each moment. Individually each piece of this tryptic marks an important point within my healing process. Together they speak to the cyclical motion of healing, rejecting the notion that progress happens without interposed reflection. (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)

Revenant Touch

"Revenant Touch" 2020, Tulle fabric, thread; sewn 7' x6' -The past few years have been laden with loss. In my grief, it felt that if I closed my eyes, I could reach out and touch what I was seeking; to make the immaterial tangible. Then reality takes hold, making aware that no amount of willpower can bring back what time took. (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)

Convalescence

"Convalescence" 2022, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads, 32” x 52” Without the transparent layer of silk organza, that is seen in both the "Rhythms of Healing" and "Isolation Portraits", my hand-made paper works offer an unfiltered look at my internal world as I strive for balance and self empowerment.

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About Katie

Baltimore City - Station North A&E District

Katie O'Keefe's picture
Katie O'Keefe was raised in a quiet village in the Hudson Valley, New York. From the age of 14 Katie has been dealing with Chronic Lyme and her experience with this illness has had a great impact on her creative work. Throughout her teenage years she studied drawing and painting at The Art Effect (previously known as the Mill Street Loft) in Poughkeepsie NY. She received her BFA in Fiber Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and studied textiles abroad in Turkey... more

Rhythms of Healing

Healing has never been a straight line. It ebbs and flows. Here I look back at the progress I have made in both physical wellness and appreciation for my body as it is in each moment. Individually each piece of this tryptic marks an important point within my healing process. Together they speak to the cyclical motion of healing, rejecting the notion that progress happens without interposed reflection.

  • Rhythms Of Healing

    2018- 2021, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn, 6' x 10' (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Rhythms Of Healing (Detail of back)

    2018-2021 Silk organza, tullefabric, thread, sewn 6' x 10' - Textile backs are generally rich in texture, and normally go unseen. Here I give you a glimpse of what lies beneath the finished product. (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • This is My Body.

    2018, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn, 5' 5" x 2' - A first step in the visual documentation of my personal journey with self love and acceptance. Here I am gently hovering my hand over my right shoulder, a place in my body that holds a long history of tension, as a way of acknowledging the pain while remaining present and calm. ((Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Detail of This Is My Body.

    2018, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn, 5' 5" x 2'
  • Endogenous Embrace

    2018, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn, 2' x 6' - Moving beyond simple acceptance to the moment when the protective barriers begin to fade thus providing an opening back to the subtleties of sensuality. This moment of honest vulnerability allows for the deepest healing. (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Detail of Endogenous Embrace

    2018, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn, 2' x 6' (documentation by Kimberly Wiegand)
  • Respite

    2021, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn 4' 1.5" x 1' 5" - A brief moment where I am able to breath and reflect on all my body has been through, providing a phase of relief in the ongoing restorative process. (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Respite (Detail)

    2021, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn 4' 1.5" x 1' 5"
  • Respite (Detail 2)

    A glimpse of the back of the work exhibiting the multiple layers of tulle I sew together to blend color and create shading. 2021, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn 4' 1.5" x 1' 5"
  • Respite (Detail 3)

    A glimpse of the back of the work exhibiting the multiple layers of tulle I sew together to blend color and create shading. 2021, Silk organza, tulle fabric, thread; sewn 4' 1.5" x 1' 5" (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)

Isolation Portraits

These small scale works came about in response to my time spent in isolation since the beginning of lockdown, March 2020. I needed to keep my hands busy, so I focused on projects I could complete in a days time; creating a physical record of my time spent. These moments of seclusion and detachment from the world can invite an overwhelming feeling of loneliness. However it can provide an opening for introspective discovery.

Works in Paper

Without the transparent layer of silk organza, that is seen in both the "Rhythms of Healing" and "Isolation Portraits", these works offer an unfiltered look at my internal world as I strive for balance and self empowerment. Using reclaimed threads from my prievious works and mixing them into paper pulp, I build a surface that becomes a representation of how the past can impact you in present time.

  • Idle Sacrifice

    "Idle Sacrifice" 2020, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads 4' x 3'6"-Inaction, during times of crisis, can have devastating repercussions on oneself and to those around you. Taking ownership of our faults, and responsibility of our action, are important when we are striving to make a change for the better. Is the woman in "Idle Sacrifice" neglecting aspects in her life that will lead to her inevitable fall? Or is she willfully ignorant of her own contribution to the tumult below?
  • Idle Sacrifice Detail

    2020, Tulle fabric, thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads 4' x 3'6"
  • Convalescence

    2022, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads, 32” x 52” (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Convalescence (Detail)

    2022, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads, 32” x 52”
  • Transposed

    2021, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads, 19" x 17" (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Transposed (Detail)

    2021, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads, 19" x 17"
  • Fulcrum

    2021, Tulle fabric, thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads, 9" x 11 1/2" (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)
  • Standing Figure

    2020, Tulle fabric and thread on hand pulled abaca paper embedded with repurposed studio threads 8.5" x11" (Photography by Kimber Harris-Wiegand)

Gestures

The past few years have been laden with loss. In my grief, it felt that if  I closed my eyes, I could reach out and touch what I was seeking; to make the immaterial tangible. Then reality takes hold, making it clear that no amount of willpower can bring back what time took.

Body Space

In this series I am focusing on the interrelationship between the body and its surroundings. Through the use of visceral textures and embedding different materials into the surface of the works, I am softening the boundaries to create a dialogue with the space and evoke an awareness of ones physical self in relation to the work.

  • Fascia

    2016, Linen fabric, cotton fabric, red thread; patterned from the artist’s body, 4' x 6' - Riddled with quick erratic pains throughout my body I found myself distancing from my physical self. Fascia is an investigation of my corporeal form, granting the ability to understand myself from new and multiple angles. The pattern created for this piece was constructed by directly taping onto my body, essentially producing a second skin. Gently shedding this new skin, I was able to strategically cut out shapes that I would then sew back together in found natural fabrics.
  • Detail of Fascia

    2016, Linen fabric, cotton fabric, red thread; patterned from the artist’s body, 4' x 6'
  • Confluences

    2014, Linen thread; dyed, machine knit, 10' x 8' x 4' - This archway is a reflection of cellular patterns and the structures that exist within the body. It is a meeting point of the internal and external. By externalizing my vulnerability into an architectural form, I am able to walk through and openly investigate this interrelationship.
  • In Air

    2014, Linen thread handed down from Lenore Tawney, plastic; melted, 20ft x 1ft - A response to the work of Lenore Tawney whose work helped revolutionize Fiber Art and bring it to the fore front of High Art. I was lucky enough to receive some of her studio materials, in this case spools of linen thread. As a way to pay her homage to the influence she has had in my own work I choose to immortalize her threads in plastic and highlight the importance of negative space that is a constant in her weavings.
  • Detail of In Air

    2014, Linen thread handed down from Lenore Tawney, plastic; melted, 20ft x 1ft
  • Ensnared

    2013,Wool and paper; felted. Suspended 1ft off the floor and fills the room, 10' x 10' - As I continue my search to integrate my mind and body, there are moments where I find my desperation for wholeness has driven me to latch on too tightly. When I take a moment to breathe and look up, I find myself entrapped, reflecting on the moments of my life where I had lost control of my body and movement.

Works in metal

As I explore metal as a medium, I think on how I can integrate the processes of textile work, namely embroidery, into a material of contrasting hardness compared to the softness of fiber. 

  • Isolation Portrait/ Day 251 Brooch

    2020, Copper, liver of sulphur, enamel paint 5"x 4.5"
  • Reflections( In process 2)

    2021, Copper; Roller Printed, 2" x 2"/ Copper Wire on Canvas, 2" x 2"
  • Reflections(Front)

    2021, Left: Copper; roller-printed and enameled, 3" x 2"/ Right: Copper wire on Silver foil and copper; enameled, 3" x2" - In this piece I sought to encapsulate the delicate work of embroidery into this sturdier material of metal. I used copper wire as thread and stitched the lines you see in the right image. Before embedding the embroidery into the enamel, I created an inverse image by pressing that same embroidery into metal.
  • Reflections(Back)

    2021, Left: Copper; roller-printed and enameled, 3" x 2"/ Right: Copper wire on Silver foil and copper; enameled, 3" x2"
  • Reflections (In process)

    2021, Silver wire on Canvas, 4" x 4"