Hillary Johnson is a transdisciplinary artist whose work and research investigates the tensions and challenges created when drastic upheavals transform or destroy delicate beauty. She is interested in the staggering juxtapositions between grief and joy; longing and belonging; heartache and beauty, that underpin the human condition. Her work engages the body and the process of coming to know a place through slow walking and mindful observation. She photographs in the landscape, makes portraits, video, handmade books and immersive multimedia installations. She believes that photography can be part of an expansive exploration of empathy, compassion, and consciousness and connection for positive social and cultural change.

She is an MFA Candidate in Photography at Columbia College Chicago where she also serves as a Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. She is a recipient of an Albert P. Weisman Award, and Thall-Mulvany Award for her work creating immersive installations that explore ways in which art and science may be a critical piece of how we create a more loving and compassionate world. Her work has been featured in the 2nd Quanzhou International Image Biennale at the Fujulian Huanguang Photography Art Museum, Hüten Gallery in Shanghai, China, Image Union, Pasadena Photo Arts, The Chicago Reader, National Public Radio, NBC News, A Photo Editor, and Frontrunner Magazine. Her works have been exhibited across the United States and internationally. 

She is the creator of, “The Waters We Swim In,” a global movement for self-love and compassion, grounded in a process of transformative water-based portrait sessions that invite subjects to feel greater kindness and compassion for themselves while recognizing their place in the great pattern of things.

She invites you to follow her on Instagram @hillary_irene_artist

Want to talk? Please contact her via email.