Ana Luisa Matos’ work focuses on the concept of home and identity. Her most recent series, No Place To Lay My Head, explores her relationship with her home country. Developed during a series of road trips, the work captures her reconnection to Portugal, after having spent time living abroad, and the coming to terms with her own identity.
The photographer’s relationship with her home country has always been bittersweet: it was a place of comfort, security and loving memories. However, there was always a feeling of emptiness present. The outside world seemed more attractive as if life was happening somewhere else.
Her search for new adventures away from the familiar led her to South America, where she made her home for a year. Upon her return to Portugal and struggling once again to fit in, the concept of home became more complex than ever. All of her former connections have been replaced with scattered impressions of a previous life and home was now nothing more than a coordinate on a map.
As life reached an impasse, trying to decide whether to stay or not, she turned her camera to the same things that made her leave.
Her travels in search for landscapes, dominated by solitude and silence, reflecting her inner thoughts, more than being a form of escapism, allowed her to convey this period of transition in life.
No Place To Lay My Head is a deep, personal journey of looking at one’s identity and trying to find again a feeling of home. Looking outward, in search for the mundane and the overlooked, she wandered in vacant landscapes, capturing her experience with previously unseen places in her home country and yet the nostalgia of being back home still permeates.
Ana Luisa Matos was born in 1984 in Portugal. She studied photography at the International Center of Photography, New York. Currently she lives and works in New York.