I've always had a removed fascination with Fourth of july. Our family rarely went to cookouts, we didn’t take trips to “the lake”. My parents didn’t like us going to the fireworks downtown because as a baby someone accidentally burned me with their cigarette. We were a very quiet, stay-at-home kind of clan. Instead (when my parents were still together), we would splurge and go to our suburb’s fireworks held at the local park. Sometimes there'd be outdated carnival rides. always a classic rock cover band on stage (McGuffey Lane or Phil Dirt & The Dozers, specifically). We’d take a blanket and stay together, maybe say hi to a few people.
It was the one day of summer break you were guaranteed to see everyone from school. I would sit on our blanket, and observe the girls. They were allowed to run free around the park in crop tops, garnished in glow bracelets and chokers. They were beautiful without an ounce of self-consciousness, didn’t care at all who was looking or not looking at them, and I longed for their autonomy. With these photos, I wanted to dissect that visual memory of the suburban “Cool Girl” and the idea surrounding this holiday of American nostalgia.
Kate Sweeney (b. 1987 in Columbus, Ohio) is a self-taught photographer whose work has been featured online in Feature Shoot, Dazed Magazine, Refinery29, and The Huffington Post, as well as in magazines such as Austere, Clear Nude, Babefest, and Latent Image. She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio, where she continues to make work that focuses on the human form, abstraction, and color.