Tabitha Barnard was born in Freedom, New Hampshire in 1994. She is a photographer who grew up in rural Maine with three sisters. Growing up in a very Christian female dominated family has had a huge influence on her work. Barnard works primarily in digital color photography exploring themes of femininity and religion. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art from Maine College of Art in the Spring of 2016. She has worked in both commercial studio settings, as a shooting assistant and currently works as the media technician for the photo department at the Maine College of Art. In the fall Tabitha will be attending theMassachusetts College of Art MFA photography program.
Growing up in a small town in rural Maine, my contact with others was limited. I was raised alongside three sisters and lived in a close-knit religious culture where sexuality was never mentioned. As children, we created elaborate fantasy games and tried to find every Bible passage we could about powerful women and witches. The forbidden nature and the ritual of the occult fascinated us. Our household was staunchly Christian, I witnessed the demonization of sexuality and femininity, yet I was surrounded by powerful feminine energy. For the last six years, I have made images that document my sisters in their unique transitions to womanhood. As a young woman, I watched while girls changed from children to objects sexualized by older men. My photographs explore religion and the community I created with my sisters, lifting a veil on a formerly intimate and private exchange between the four of us. In our religious cult of womanhood, there exists a theater of eternal youth and femininity. We are confrontational while on display, creating a fantasy world in the forests and seascapes of Maine.