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July 4, 2023
Photography by Barbara Peacock
Story by Karen Ghostlaw Pomarico
Barbara Peacock is an assignment photographer living in Portland, Maine. She studied fine arts at Boston University School of Fine Arts, and photography and filmmaking at The School for the Museum of Fine Arts/Tufts University. She began as a street photographer and gradually became an assignment lifestyle photographer.
Barbara began finding the threads of her hometown tapestry with a project that began in 1982 culminating with a published book in 2015, ‘Hometown’. A thirty-year photographic project that explores the community of the small town where she grew up and continued to live as an adult, Westford Massachusetts. Her photography examines life as she lived it, through the valued personal experiences with people she interacted and worked with, socially engaging on a day-to-day basis. We often walk through our daily lives, without paying close attention to the people we encounter, and the valuable contributions they make to our existence, even in their simplicity. While documenting community events and daily life Barbara exposes the simple realities that help shape the way we engage the world. She asks us to not just look but to see the important contributions inspired by the community. She asks us to open our eyes, as well as our hearts, respect old traditions, while we discover and make new ones, admire our neighbors, and lead with a handshake. Barbara gives back to her community through her visual storytelling, becoming an important thread in the fabric of her community.
We have the privilege of sharing Barbara’s current project, which was started in 2016, inspiring the book: American Bedroom - Reflections on the Nature of Life. This exploration is an anthropological examination of American culture spanning across the continental United States of America. Barbara invites us into one of the most sacred and private spaces where humanity exists. Where the door is often closed, securing the contents and protecting the intimacy we nourish as individuals, and share as partners, or families. It is where we dream, celebrate our personal triumphs, nourishing our bodies and minds. It is the space and place we retreat to in times of despair, where we heal from sickness, repair emotionally, replenish when depleted, finding absolute comfort in. ‘American Bedroom’ stories open the door respectfully, giving the subjects the opportunity to authentically communicate this intimacy honestly and openly, unreservedly.
‘American Bedroom’ breaks through the many barriers we create in our society. Barbara opens the door of a bedroom, illuminating the intimate thoughts, revealed through the bodies and souls of her subjects. The naked truth is open for interpretation, and inspiration. The confidence and trust shared between the photographer and subject are unique, allowing the photograph to exist, without feeling like it has been created. Its powerful message lies in the authenticity of the moments shared between the photographer and subjects; this is the magic that Barbara shares with us.
“When physical bedroom doors are opened to me there is a veil of religion, politics, and ideologies that is mysteriously and magically lifted. What remains, is the bare soul of human life, a story, and purity of heart that rises like cream to the top. This is not a look at our differences, although there may be many, it is about our likenesses, our loves, our dreams, and all the threads of commonality that connect us as human beings.”
We cannot say enough about Barbara and her thoughtful and brilliant work. We would like to give her a shout out for her diligence and generous contribution founding a not-profit organization in 2010, ‘The Nightingale Project’. This project has inspired and supported the artistic nurturing of needy individuals through art and photography providing the opportunity and new vision, to some who thirsted for her influence. It is a traveling program with a variety of ages that are supported, with a mix of people from adults and high school. The journeys so far have included Haiti, Cambodia, and New York. We look forward to watching her program grow, and watching the influence she has on the eyes of the future.
Barbara Peacock has worked with clients all over the world in many different ways. Commercial clients include Arm & Hammer, Coca-Cola, Disney, Toyota, Volkswagen & Nickelodeon and more. Editorial clients include People, Newsweek, Real Simple, Family Circle, Oprah, Family Fun. Barbara is a highly awarded photographer and has exhibited internationally, giving Barabara the ability to continue her studies and produce her important work. Follow her links to her website and social media for more information and continued inspiration.
You can preorder a personal copy of ‘American Bedroom’ from Barbara’s website and help support the continuation of her important work exploring and helping to define American culture in our contemporary society.
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