Critical Mass Top 50, 2011

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Heidi Kirkpatrick



The Red Thread

Branch II

For Frederick





Line of Communication
Heidi Kirkpatrick

Heidi Kirkpatrick Specimens I am in love with film. All of my work is made with film. I shoot on film. I print on film. I do all of my own work in my darkroom. I like it dripping off my elbows. I do not use a lot of fancy equipment. My models are my family and friends. I love layering the film positives over anything and everything I can think of or find. My studio is filled with found objects that inspire me, and photographs, lots and lots of photographs. I use photographs to transform these found objects into pieces of art. Fusing transparent figurative and family portraits with children’s toys and blocks, boxes and tins, I create a playful tension between imagery and object. My work tries to breathe new life into these objects, yet they leave hints of the past in their lovingly worn appearances, the flecks of paint missing, soft corners, dents and dings. I live with a substantial amount of physical pain and have for many years. In my continual search for an answer, as well as my way of dealing with the unexplained, I dissect my copy of Gray’s Anatomy. The pages find their way into my work, layered under images of those closest to me. The illustrations bind, clothe and wrap the body. Putting the inside on the outside, I wear my heart on my sleeve. These works depart from the formality of a frame as they are arranged on a table top or a shelf, often placed side by side to reveal narratives of family life or the complexities of the feminine allure while drawing on memories, contemporary issues, and visual formality. Reminiscent of 19th century cased images; Specimens are housed in small hinged tins that open and close to reveal or conceal the secrets they hold.