Katie Fenske, born in 1980 on Halloween, is a photographer living with her young daughter in her hometown of Greenville, SC. In order to document her daughter’s childhood, Fenske taught herself how to use a DSLR camera, but when her preferred subject began showing signs of exasperation, she pointed her camera elsewhere. She ultimately landed on a practice of photographing suburban landscapes as a way to process emotions she couldn’t otherwise express. Of equal interest to Fenske are transitional times of day, and spaces showing obvious clues that she just missed the people who inhabit them. Color and light are studied earnestly. In addition to taking photos, Fenske builds analytical equipment for a small start-up in Simpsonville, answers myriad questions from her daughter (“When you die, do they throw parties for you at the church on your birthday?”), and pokes around thrift stores hunting for wonky pottery cast-offs despite having plenty. Her daughter has come back around to being photographed, but could do without the thrifting.
came up a storm
“came up a storm” might be another heartbreak story. I can’t say for sure. I can say that an unexpected happening—an act of god, if you will—left me with two empty hands and a pile of confusing emotions to sift through. These photos have me reconciling my perspective of certain shared experiences with present feelings of loss to tell a story of personal hurt in a way that feels beautiful, if not cathartic. Because, much like a sudden summer storm, it was terrifyingly gorgeous; unlike the storm, I was dreading its end.
To view more of Katie Fenske’s work please visit her website.