Katie Harwood grew up in an idyllic American midwestern suburb in the age of excess. Spending lots of time at home, the space served as a kind of reliquary for the families past and present - almost nothing was thrown away. Her mother’s unflinching attachment to collecting personal archives, ordinary objects, and artwork both monetarily and personally valuable, has impacted Harwood’s practice. Her work is grounded in places of personal significance and draws on her unfolding influences of kin, environment, and collecting. Often scratching at the surface of façade and working in an expanded documentary style, she is interested in American suburbia and perceived oddities in these places.
Everything Is Fine Here
Everything Is Fine Here is an ongoing series that investigates my relationship with my childhood home, Winnetka, IL. These photographs were made during an annual spring cleanup event when residents are encouraged to bring unwanted household items to the curb for removal. Ordinary items lay discarded and anonymous in front of manicured lawns and well-kept homes. The items are photographed as they are found, only manipulated by their former owners or treasure seekers and metal pickers. Ideas of western consumer culture are evoked as most of the items end up in the landfill.
In 1996, my parents divorced and my experience of that time is present as I make this work. I am fascinated by the perceived breakdown in the rules of decorum that takes place during this ritual purging. It is like a collective and approved of airing of dirty laundry that only happens once a year. Items that were full of memories and bare evidence of their users transform into torn, misshapen piles for anyone to see. The series scratches at the façade of my home and questions if everything is really fine here.
Print Details: All exhibition and edition prints are made by Ron Landucci of Infinite Editions. I have worked closely with Ron for several years to ensure the highest quality and accuracy. Prints are archival pigment prints on Baryta paper.
Collected over a period of several years and dating back to the 1980s, these old plastic film canisters held sand and water scooped up from various places I visited as a child. I labeled and dated them and they became my own form of souvenir. Years later, the canisters were accidentally destroyed. The small amounts of remaining sand, rock, and salt water have dried and form new patterns inside and around the canisters. The identifying labels are peeled and torn and only reveal clues as to their former origin. Photographed like specimens, the film canisters become a new kind of souvenir and may also function as remnants of film photography.
Print Details: This work is not yet printed.