HEIDI L. KIRKPATRICK
When visiting the Indie Photobook Library the other day there were many great independently published books. One that really caught my eye was Lost and Found by Heidi L. Kirkpatrick. She uses found items with overlaid photographs that are both playful and seductive at the same time. I really loved the perfect mix of dingyness with beauty and the mix of nudes and child-like items. Her play on words was also very amusing. Take for example the photo below of a woman’s naked chest that is printed on the inside of a wooden box with text that reads “A Chest of Pine for that ‘Pal’ of Mine.”
Her artist statement for the book reads:
Heidi Kirkpatrick is an artist living and working in Portland, Oregon. Using photographs to transform found objects into playful and seductive sculptures, she fuses transparent figurative and family portraits with children’s toy blocks, games and collectible souvenirs, creating a playful tension between imagery and object. Her work breathes new life into these found objects, yet they leave hints of the past in their lovingly worn appearances; the flecks of paint missing, and the soft corners worn down by tiny fingers and tumbling towers. These works depart from the formality of a frame as they are arranged on a table top or a shelf, often stacked or placed side by side to reveal narratives of family snapshots or the complexities of the feminine allure. In combination, Heidi gives us a chance to visit these earlier playful times while drawing on memories, contemporary issues, and visual formality.
View more of Kirkpatrick’s work, including her other series, on her website. Checking out her website it as must – it’s very interactive. For example, navigate your mouse to the image Chest of Pine, 2005 (found under her Souvenirs series) and see what happens.
Lost and Found was one of the featured submissions to Blurb’s 2010 Photography Book Now International Juried Competition. You can preview or purchase the book here at Blurb and make sure to check out the other submissions to Photography Book Now which were also at the iPL.
A huge thanks to Larissa Leclair, founder of the iPL, for her time and amazing tour of the archive. You can check out more submissions to the Indie Photobook Library here.
Another photographer that I really like and am reminded of by Kirkpatrick’s work is Thomas Allen. He uses cut-out images from old ads and books to create dynamic tableaux pictures that come to life with creative depth of field. I first saw his work at Foley Gallery in New York at fell in love right away, and actually got his book, Uncovered, right then. Uncovered is really a treat itself, square with rounded edges and printed on thick cardboard and reminiscent of childhood story books. Check out more of his work at the Foley Gallery or on his blog at Thomas Allen Online.