Posted on: April 12, 2016
Views: 3133


Growing up in a small community in rural Maine, my contact with others was limited. As a child, I spent my time in the company of only my sisters and select parent-approved friends, exploring the woods surrounding my home many times over and attending church twice a week. At ten I met Ashley Palmer and we became inseparable, making up stories and creating a world that involved only us. We made plans for the future as I watched Ashley draw, not knowing then that we would be living together ten years later. She lived with her staunchly Catholic grandmother and I was raised in a Baptist church; sexuality was never discussed except by us in the secret of my room.

Through our adolescence it became difficult for others to understand the nature of our relationship to each other. Friends, and even family, would remark that we appeared to either be sisters or lovers. As we grew up, our relationship became sexualized by various men who moved in and out of our lives, obsessed with the ideas of us touching, and kissing. While all I could see was the normality of our existence, men continued to fetishize it. These images exist on a fine line between love and obsession.

This body of work attempts to navigate an ambiguous relationship between myself and Ashley. I obsessively document our lives together, trying to keep the viewer guessing if we are romantically involved and preserving both of us exactly as we exist now.

Other Projects by Tabitha Barnard

Tabitha Barnard

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BFA Alumni

Major: Photography

Graduation Year: 2016

Artist Statement:

These photographs navigate a theater of teenage girls isolated in a conservative religious culture, and habits and rituals associated with their sexual repressions. In this community traditions of hunting; with their skin, blood, and sense of community. Create designated and separate roles between sexes.