Maine photographer Tabitha Barnard has won $10,000 in an international contest sponsored by Fujifilm.

Barnard, who graduated from the Maine College of Art and works there as a technician, won the Emerging Photographer Fund Fujifilm/Young Talent Award for 2018 for her photographic essay “Cult of Womanhood,” which explores religion and community.

In a statement about the work, she wrote, “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.”

The community she created with her sisters revealed “a theater of eternal youth and femininity” and helped them “escape repression in the forests and seascapes of rural Maine, USA.”

Barnard, 24, grew up in Topsham and now lives in Portland. She received her BFA from MECA in 2016.

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