Many women find themselves in this position: silently running a home and family, creating beauty and order from chaos, but remain unnoticed by the outside world, the people around them, or even themselves. Yet, obsessing and perfecting the home and its accoutrements often shape the identity of many of us (not only women). Perfecting a space with objects or décor has become so central to our lives that one’s identity becomes fused with it to the point of invisibility. As a female artist, I confront the emotional issues of hiding, comfort, and safety; how the home environment is a place of perfection, and yet decoration camouflages one’s individuality to the point of claustrophobia. I am photographically creating worlds that debunk, critique and satirise these myths of claustrophobic perfection. The draperies in these photographs act as both a visual cue as well as a literal interpretation of overidentification/obsession. Everyone has a hidden identity formed by personal traditions, memories, and ideas that are cloaked from the outer world. Cultivating these inner psychological, emotional and intellectual worlds is perhaps our greatest challenge as people, wherever we come from or wherever we live.
About the Artist
Patty Carroll (USA, b.1946) is the Adjunct Full Professor of Photography at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois, and an M.S. in Photography from the Institute of Design, IIT. Her awards include Artist Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council (2003) and Art Takes Miami, Photography Category (2011). She has held solo exhibitions at many prestigious locations including the Museum of Contemporary Photography (USA), Art Institute of Chicago, Royal Photographic Society (UK), State of Illinois Gallery and Museum, Blue Star Art Space (USA), White Box Museum (China), and Northern Illinois University Art Museum. Her publications include Spirited Visions, Culture is Everywhere, Living the Life: The World of Elvis Tribute Artists, Man Bites Dog (2012–2013), also in Changing Chicago, Women Photographers. She has been granted residency at Akiyoshidai Arts Village (Japan), Anderson Ranch, Colorado, Texas A&M University, and Columbia College (USA). Her work has also been acquired in many public and private collections.