BEATING HEARTS: Stories of Domestic Violence

  • Kate and Terrie
  • Beating Hearts
  • Beating Hearts

BEATING HEARTS: Stories of Domestic Violence

is a photographic project inspired by true stories of domestic violence documented by Kate Sartor Hilburn and Terrie Queen Autrey of Louisiana. Both women have been active in domestic violence prevention and education in their communities. Autrey is a founder of the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team in Ruston, LA; Sartor Hilburn has served on its board. Both were involved in volunteer efforts in their former communities, as well: Sartor Hilburn in Dallas and Autrey in Pensacola.

Sartor Hilburn, an artist/photographer, and Autrey, a writer and activist, teamed up to create a body of work that retells in visual and verbal terms the actual stories and experiences of women they have known and talked with through their work in domestic abuse prevention. In some of the pieces their intent is simply to provide information and answers to questions - "Why Do Women Stay?" for instance. In other pieces, they have created a portrait of a victim and the abuse she has suffered. The testimonies cover different ages, genders, ethnic and economic backgrounds; most were gathered from their home area. The stories are framed in windows and doors, representing the framework of home.

Beating Hearts consists of large and small photo constructions with accompanying text. Some are built upon light boxes and some are fully three-dimensional pieces. Beating Hearts: Stories of Domestic Violence was presented at the national and regional conferences of the Society for Photographic Education in Cincinnati, OH, and Nashville, TN, and has been exhibited at Louisiana Tech University's Architecture Gallery in Ruston, LA, the University of Louisiana at Monroe's Conference Center, the Turner Art Center (Centenary College) in Shreveport, LA, Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX, Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, FL, Southern University in New Orleans, LA, ARC Gallery in Chicago, IL, The Art Institute in Atlanta, GA, and in part at the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York, NY.

Recently, Terrie Queen Autrey and Kate Sartor Hilburn received a grant from the Gannett Foundation to create a poster series of Beating Hearts. The poster series consists of twelve 22" x 28" posters based on stories and artwork from Beating Hearts. The poster series is available for sale or loan. Posters are also available as 32" x 41" canvas banners.

For more information contact Hilburn or Autrey in Ruston, Louisiana (318-243-0546 or 318-247-6459).