Barbara Peacock : American Bedroom: Reflections on the Nature of Life
Artist Statement:American Bedroom is a cultural and anthropological study of Americans in their private dwelling: their bedroom. The nature of the project comprises portraits of individuals, couples and families that reveal the depth of their character and spirit.
My interest lies in the poetic resonance of ordinary subjects, much in the convention of Walker Evans, our forefather of the documentary tradition. I follow his practice of photographing commonplace subjects — working class Americans — beneath notice and yet the very fabric of our nation. I am passionate, but not sentimental about America as evident in my book, Hometown 1982-2015. I am drawn, as Evans was, to the quiet magisterial beauty of people half lost in memory, with too much time on their hands or in silent paradox. I argue and persuade that these subjects matter.
My journey for American Bedroom began a year ago, photographing mostly on the East coast and recently expanding to the South. The scope of the project covers all corners of the United States: from the Northwoods of Maine to the deserted coal mining towns of the South, from the Badlands of South Dakota to Saddleback Valley, California. The journalistic merit of the project is to embrace and consider all lives and the minute details of each enigmatic life. Ultimately, these moments will allow us to look inward at the complex beauty of humankind, ourselves and our fellow Americans.
Artist Bio:Barbara Peacock studied fine arts at Boston University College of Fine Arts, and photography and filmmaking at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. She started as a street photographer and gradually became a lifestyle photographer. She has had the privilege to study with Mary Ellen Mark, Eugene Richards and Ernesto Bazan.
Her project, Hometown, has just been printed in an 80-page book, with an introduction by Ernesto Bazan. It is a 30-year photographic project of everyday life in the town she grew up in and spent most of her life, spanning from 1982 to 2015.
Barbara is currently working on three projects: American Bedroom, a reflection of who we are as revealed in portraits taken in bedrooms across the US, Exit Seeker about her aging mother’s Alzheimer’s Disease, and The Girls Upstairs, a documentary of (literally) the two girls who live upstairs.