Portfolios > Around the House

In my 30s, I shifted from a busy career to being the primary caregiver of my children. The change was disorienting. My life narrowed as I moved from the public sphere to a mostly private, domestic existence. The works of second-wave feminist artists had a newfound resonance with me, with their concerns over the powerlessness, isolation, and passive consumerism associated with female domesticity. I especially loved the work of Laurie Simmons in her mid-1970s series "In and Around the House." One day, on visiting a flea market, I came upon similar dollhouse figures to those used by Simmons in her series, and I took them home with me.

While my life mirrored those of many women in earlier eras, there was one stark difference: my access to the internet. The boundaries of my home seemed wider as I communicated with other mothers hundreds of miles from me who shared similar lives and interests. I began to wonder, does access to technology, to these online communities, mean a kind of public access, even a freedom, for women in domestic spaces?  Or does it simply create a different kind of confinement, an imprisonment in digital culture?

In this series of photographs I have recreated scenes from my own domestic life, exploring my use of technology as an escape from the “mundane of the domestic.” I have used my found dolls as an emblem of the traditional mid-20th-century family, yet placed alongside our modern technologies. My interest is in the emotional landscape—dreamlike, distracted, isolated—created by the new technological private sphere of the home.