4 x 16 feet
Cyanotype on fabric
My work is a critical blueprint. In a literal sense, some of the work is blueprinted through the cyanotype process. Sun exposure on photosensitized fabrics burns text and imagery onto an object. Once washed, a Prussian blue tone is revealed, and the object becomes archival and unchanging.
The conceptual concerns of my practice mirror these physical processes and notions of blueprinting. Everything I make—flags, images, and performances—comes back to the idea of laying foundation. Thinking about architecture, the blueprint is a means of planning so that we may build a structure that sustains. If we apply the efficacy of this ideology to the work, there’s an indication of some sovereign power laying foundations in our world, so that whatever their preconceived plan may be follows through.
The two sovereign powers that I deal with are the political class and religious structures within the United States. My practice highlights these forces on their own but consistently finds its way back to where they intersect, especially in relation to my own experiences growing up in the American South.
Creating objects and experiences that deal with ideas of being in and out, a part of and separate, shaped by and rejecting, my practice acts as a means of surrendering to my rearing and working towards a new beginning thereafter.
Katie McGowan is an interdisciplinary artist based in Detroit, MI. She has exhibited domestically and internationally, most notably at Photoville and Galerie AMU Prague. McGowan received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2020, graduating as a University Honors Scholar.