Katherine (Katie) Lee Wood is a queer, genderfluid, white, neurodivergent artist and musician. Katie is in their third and final year of graduate school at Lewis & Clark College, and will graduate in June 2023 with a degree in art therapy and a certificate in eating disorders counseling. Katie lives with their partner and two fur-friends in Portland, OR, and enjoys playing piano, drawing and sculpting, stained glass work, practicing yoga, playing board games, watching animated series, and gardening.
Rose City, 2022, Stained Glass with Powdered Gold
This piece symbolizes my strong belief that healing happens in, from, and of community. We heal, grow, think, act, and exist in relation to one another. The rose in the middle represents my deep love for my home community in Portland, Oregon - the city of roses. The hands and arms link together in the shape of a hexagon, which is said to symbolize a number of concepts: love, harmony, power, justice, wisdom, balance, structural stability, integration, creativity as well as the potential for life, and perfection.
In constructing this work, I was given an unexpected opportunity to explore the concept of perfection, and what it means to me. When this piece was near-finished, I woke up one morning to find that some of the glass panes - including one of the hands - had cracked. After countless hours spent constructing the piece, the cracks left me feeling extremely demoralized, to say the least.
However, a year ago, my partner gifted me a small ceramic Kintsugi vase, which inspired me to try something similar with the cracks in the stained glass. Kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the broken areas with a lacquer that is dusted or mixed with powdered gold. Rather than hiding the imperfections or throwing out the piece entirely, Kintsugi art accentuates the areas of breakage, and the result is something beautiful, entirely new, and potentially even more precious. Through this artistic process, I was offered an opportunity to experience perfection as this more gentle, subjective thing that necessarily includes flaws, mistakes, breaks, and yes, cracks.
Therapy in 2022, mixed media on a plexiglass cube
The therapeutic relationship and space has been likened to the metaphor of “the eye of the storm.” It’s a space where, no matter what’s going on around us in the whirlwind of our lives, we may have the opportunity to take refuge and regroup. For one 50-minute hour a week, one can pause, look inward, check in with our deepest wants and needs, and co-regulate with another human. But what happens when the storm encroaches on the therapy space - or when it invades every helping setting worldwide?