Visual Arts Student: BFA Photography
I grew up just outside of New Haven, CT. My interest in art began in high school where I had a fabulous drawing teacher who let me come in to the art studio any time I wanted. My junior year, I discovered photography and quickly fell in love. The next year, I was accepted to BYU’s photography program. In 2011, I married Ryan Hill, who had served his mission in Malawi and Zambia, which was a major inspiration for this project. I have exhibited several times in BYU’s Harris Fine Arts Building in solo and group shows. I have also participated in group shows at the Kimball Arts Center in Park City and the Rio Gallery in Salt Lake City. I currently work as the photo editor at BYU’s student newspaper, The Universe. I will be graduating in August and moving with my husband as he pursues a graduate degree and I work as a freelance photographer.
I am not yet a mother, and truthfully I have always feared the day when I will become one. The pain, the diapers, the strollers, and the sacrifice of my time and attention seem too much to handle. My stubborn aversion to the delivery room changed the first time I visited Africa.
In Africa, most mothers struggle and sacrifice more than I can comprehend. There are mothers in Uganda whose abducted children are lost as child soldiers, mothers in Rwanda who carried their children to the mountains as genocide swept through their country, and mothers throughout Africa simply trying to feed their families every day. Yet despite all of these seemingly insurmountable challenges, there is a keen sense of hope, optimism, and joy in their eyes. They continue despite their challenges and overcome the nearly impossible. Every day, they conquer poverty without pocket change, disease without medicine, and violence without weapons.
I found that African mothers believe in their families and the future of their children. They know that education is the future of their continent. Many of them have taken in children left orphans of sickness and war and loved them as their own. Above all, African mothers find joy in the simple aspects of motherhood and strength in the unity of their families.
The differences in our lives may seem remarkable, yet through this project, I have found a deep and powerful connection with each woman I photographed. I found strength in their perseverance and selflessness. I found sorrow in their trials, but hope in their futures.