A silent figure is standing in the middle of the room.
Draped in coarse beige cloth, she models playfully in the center of the warmly lit gallery, one hand cockily placed on her hip. The other extends from the woven fabric and clutches loosely at a TV remote, somehow glaringly unsettling in the static form. Only the tip of a gold-clad toe peeks out from the bunched-up cloth that sweeps the ground.
This figurine comprises one of two 3D pieces in Patty Carroll’s Anonymous Women Dittmar Gallery exhibit. The other, a painted television, sits beneath the photo Royal and juxtaposes clips of cloaked women performing household tasks in small, jerky movements while cheerful music plays. Captured in glossy photos, the other pieces portray women posing before various fabrics and backgrounds. The women are not featured in these photos, however. It is more accurate to say that they are hidden.
None of these people have faces or shapes, and the only clue indicating their presence is the faint outline of fabric-covered figures surrounded by identical prints. In pieces Sweepy and Watering, it is genuinely difficult to make out the women’s location upon first glance. One woman's appendages appear from behind the curtain, but even those are abstractly toyed with: a gardening tool replaces one of her arms.
Carroll notes that this series is meant to invite “hilarity and pathos about our relationship with “things,” and indeed, there is humor to be found in the ridiculousness of the picture settings. However, as you continue searching for faces that don’t exist or seeking some nonexistent emotion in these hidden woman, you cannot help but wonder:
What about me?
Anonymous Women is showing in Dittmar Gallery through October 17th each day from 10:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. Patty Carroll’s work has been featured in various galleries around the world and won a multitude of awards. She teaches photography at university level and is the photographic artist of four books. Currently, Carroll is continuing work on her photographic galleries.