Though I have focused my lens on my children since they were born, over two years I worked to convey my personal reality within the family. This process constantly brought me back to the dining room table. Here the family comes together in various mutations at all different times of the day for a full range of activities. In all the images I was absent. Ultimately, I stepped in front of the camera, and through pose and gesture found a language to communicate my emotional experiences as an American woman, wife, and mother.
Barbara Pickles lives in Southern California with her Argentine husband, Hector Escrofani. The cultural differences have clarified and reinforced Pickles’s faith in the strength and wisdom of women. This confidence was developed by growing up as the middle sister in an all female household and attending a women’s college. Pickles’ father died when she was 7. This loss was the most significant event of her childhood. The artist witnessed the challenges a single mother faces. Seeing her family survive and prosper after his death gave her courage and taught her hope and perseverance. Making multiple moves as a child in a one-parent family gave the girl a worldly view and a hunger to connect with others through her art. Pickles studied art, including photography, at Wellesley College and architecture at MIT. Because she had been on the school newspaper and yearbook since the 7th grade, it was a natural choice for the graduate to enter the working world as a graphic designer. This decision quickly led to positions as an art director, and soon after, TV commercial and music video producer, and photographer in Los Angeles. With the birth of her third son, Pickles found that the ultimate creative act was child rearing. Since that time, she has devoted herself to raising the boys Dashiel, 19, Dante, 16, and Dalton, 14. Growing up with a working mother convinced the young mother that, though it was a sacrifice, her children needed her home more than any money she could earn or career she could build. Now that the boys are older, Barbara Pickles has embraced her passion for photography.