Katrien De Blauwer (b.1969, Belgium) calls herself a ‘photographer without a camera’. Collecting and recycling photographs from old magazines and papers, her work holds a palpable intimacy, despite the material being found in the repositories of other peoples’ lives. And by re-contextualising, cutting, pasting and arranging these adopted pasts, Blauwer makes them her own and everyone’s at the same time. Through this process of collaging, a kind of universality is created, emphasising the impossibility to identify with a single individual whilst we can still recognise oneself in the story. Blauwer is a neutral intermediary, without being the author of the photographs, but the author of her own, interior world.
Katrien de Blauwer was born in the small provincial town of Ronse (Belgium). After a troubled childhood, she moved to Ghent at a young age to study painting. Later she attended the Royal Academy in Antwerp to study fashion, a study she abandoned. It was at that time she made her first collage books, originally studies and mood-books for fashion collections. At a later age she began collecting, cutting and recycling images as therapeutic self-investigation.