Tabitha Barnard

Cult of Womanhood

First Prize Winner

Cult of Womanhood by Tabitha Barnard.

First Prize Winner Gomma Grant 2018.

"Growing up in a small town in rural Maine, my contact with others was limited. ​My sisters and I lived in a close-knit religious culture where sexuality was never mentioned. ​I was raised alongside three sisters. 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 in our church, yet I was surrounded by powerful feminine energy.

Though she was Christian, my mother read us books about witches of all kinds. Baba Yaga was always my sister's favorites. I became obsessed with femininity, ritual, and the history New England had with witchcraft. For the last six years, I have made images that document different interpretations of femininity in my life.

As a young woman I watched myself and my sisters go through the different stages of becoming women, in particular how girls changed from children to objects sexualized by older men. I create images about this transition into womanhood, examining strength but also the pressure to exist as a female. ​My photographs explore religion and the community I created with my sisters through portraiture, all being played out on the stage of a New England landscape.

In our religious cult of womanhood there exists a theater of eternal youth and femininity. We are confrontational while on display, finding our escape from this repression in the forests and seascapes of Maine."

Tabitha Barnard - Cult of Womanhood.

Tabitha Barnard wepbage

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