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 that she made her first collage books, actually studies and moodbooks for fashion collections. At a later age, she began collecting, cutting, and recycling images as therapeutic self-investigation.
De Blauwer calls herself a "photographer without a camera". She collects and recycles pictures and photos from old magazines and papers. Her work is simultaneously intimate, directly corresponding with our unconscious, and anonymous thanks to the use of found images and body parts that have been cut away. This way, her personal history becomes the history of everyone. The collage effects a kind of universalization, emphasizing the impossibility to identify with a single individual, yet allowing the viewer to recognize oneself in the story. The artist becomes a neutral intermediary: without being the author of the photographs, she appropriates and integrates them into her own interior world, a world she's revealing in third person.
De Blauwer gives new meaning and life to what is residual, saving images from destruction and including them in a new narration that combines intimacy and anonymity. Her work therefore deals with memory by accumulation rather than by substraction. Her work brings to mind the procedures of photomontage or film editing, the cut being used as a frame that marks the essential.