Mr. Forager and I are without a home. We have a roof over our heads always, but as we move from furnished rental to furnished rental, none of them are actually home. A place that is ours, filled with our own tastes and personalities. In a way, it is incredibly freeing– if we had a home to decorate, believe me, I would spend waaay too much time doing so! This idea of creating a beautiful, comfortable home has been around for centuries and continues to be perpetuated and heightened today by magazines, blogs, and social media. The burden of home-making, often self-inflicted, usually falls to women. In her Anonymous Women: Draped series, photographer Patty Carroll explores the idea that we become so obsessed with creating a perfect space that we lose ourselves in the process.
From the artist’s website, “I am addressing the double edge of domesticity; the home as a place of comfort, or conversely, a place where decoration camouflages one’s individuality to the point of claustrophobia“. Or to the point of invisibility. If, like me, you’re a reader of interior design blogs, think about the homes you see– don’t they all kind of look a bit alike? We follow trends and take hold of popular styles, never really considering whether or not it truly reflects who we are. I look back on some of my own choices and wonder, who was I? The answer– I had no clue who I was, so my choices reflected that lost sense of self.
And its not only in decorating our homes that we lose ourselves, but in fashion, work, tradition, emotion, even as members of larger groups, we immerse ourselves, taking on characteristics that may not otherwise have been a part of who we are. Then, its only when we separate ourselves that we realize that the entire time we felt that sense of belonging, we, as individuals, were actually lost.