Is it a woman? Is it a lamp? Is it an exquisite corner of a haberdashery? No, it's the work of American photographer Patty Carroll, who's spent the past two decades weaving surreal and distinctive scenes from draped fabrics and de-humanised forms.
Her tableaux are styled to within an inch of their lives, taking swathes of draped fabric and homeware objects like lampshades and taking them out of the quotidian and firmly into the odd. While her photographs are bewildering at first, then humorous, these initial reactions belie a deeper exploration of femininity and the domesticity.
For over twenty years, Patty Carroll has staged photographs using models, drapery, and household objects to create humorous, provocative photographic tableaux that add to the dialogue surrounding femininity and the domestic sphere. Like all good David Lynch films, they present an idealised notion of suburbia that hides darker truths. In Carroll's case, these truths could be about women's relationships with their own female identity, and that ascribed to them as the keeper's of a neat and tidy home.
Carroll's work has been drawn together for a new book published by Daylight Books called Anonymous Women, presented alongside essays by author and artist Naren Barfield and Dr. Lauren DeLand, professor and scholar of contemporary and modern art.