Since the 1900’s “bird” has been used as slang to refer to women, often materially obsessed yet physically beautiful women.
Following the demise of the Anonymous Woman, Patty Carroll has forsaken her mannequins and models and replaced them with birds. Various feathered figurines stand in as a metaphorical substitute. In their natural habitat, birds camouflage themselves in their tree homes, they sing, but remain invisible as they go about their business of feeding, fending off predators and teaching their young. Their camouflage is survival. In these still-life photographs, colorful fabric, artificial flowers and other household baubles create a sumptuous, patterned, and ornate world. This world mirrors the home life of birds in nature while symbolizing the nesting instincts of women whose homes are a sanctuary of pride and obsession.
Patty Carroll has been known for her use of highly intense, saturated color photographs since the 1970’s. Her most recent project, “Anonymous Women,” consists of a 3-part series of studio installations made for the camera, addressing women and their complicated relationships with domesticity. By camouflaging the figure in drapery and/or domestic objects, Carroll creates a dark and humorous game of hide-and-seek between her viewers and the Anonymous Woman.
The photographs are exhibited in large scale and were published as a monograph in the January, 2017 by Daylight Books. The Anonymous Woman series has been exhibited internationally and has won multiple awards including Carroll being acknowledged as one of Photolucida’s “Top 50” in 2104 and 2017. Carroll taught photography for many years until 2014, and enthusiastically returned to the studio in order to delight viewers with her playful critique of home and excess.