Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

The Art of Heather Kirk

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

The Art of Heather Kirk

Article excerpt

Heather J. Kirk took lots of pictures while growing up. In fact, landscape photographs of Ms. Kirk's family vacations filled more than 40 albums from her childhood through college years.

She has always been attracted to landscapes that most people never stop to explore, Ms. Kirk says. "There's something about the line of a horizon, whether it's a flat ocean line, or clouds ... and the shades they create" that attract her attention.

"My intention is to be present, noticing and documenting life as it has always been, yet in such a way that leads others to take notice also--and find meaning," she explains.

Despite Ms. Kirk's early interest in photography, she chose another career path. After earning two undergraduate degrees in business and Spanish from Indiana University, and a master's degree in social work from Arizona State in Tempe, she spent several years working with at-risk children in drug and violence prevention programs, and arts programs that emphasized writing, dance, and the study of other cultures.

Ms. Kirk managed to pursue those interests despite a battle with pain--in the form of migraines and body aches--which began at age 12.

When she was in her mid 20s, she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The pain and fatigue got progressively worse over the years and in 2000, she became debilitated and started experiencing mental confusion. Ms. Kirk had to leave her job and went out on disability.

She slowly improved. …

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