Heidi Kirkpatrick

F i n e   A r t   P r i n t   P r o g r a m

Heidi Kirkpatrick
Japanese Painted Fern
Unique cyanotype photogram on cotton
Embroidery hoop
9.75”h x 9.375”w x .5”d

$250.00Add to cart

Remaining in stock: 8

Artist statement

In the summer of 2005, I was making slides for my classes, revisiting some of the earliest photographs. I was looking at Anna Atkins’ work from 1843. She was an English botanist, photographer, and the first person (yes, a woman) to publish a book illustrated exclusively with photographic images, Sun Gardens-Victorian Photograms. So, my girl crush aside, I decided I wanted to teach this process to my beginning photography students. I thought this would be a good way to introduce them to a historical photographic process and also it would allow them to work outdoors before the rains set in here in Portland, Oregon. The students would be creating imagery early in the semester as they were simultaneously trying to figure out how to use their cameras. To do so I needed to make some examples to show them as I had not made photograms for years. I turned to my garden, which brings me so much joy, for my subject matter. This was the beginning of a practice of making cyanotypes during the Oregon summers in my backyard. Most of my cyanotypes are made with the cameraless process of photograms on fabric. I work on vintage linens and garments and use embroidery hoops for my frames, I call them Cyanohoops.

The pieces I made for CPA’s Fine Art Print Program were made using a vintage bedsheet for the material and a fern for the imprint. The Japanese painted fern is a type of Athyrium, known as a lady-fern, it was gifted to me by a dear friend. With inspiration and admiration, I pay homage to the early photographic pioneers, William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins who both used ferns in their photographic practice.


I am an artist and educator living in Portland, Oregon. I was a late bloomer to photography. I moved to Portland, Oregon in 1993 (at the age of 33) from Dallas, Texas with my new “real” camera in hand. My father-in-law gave it to me, saying he saw something in my pictures that he liked. Finding myself in an unfamiliar place, with my husband working long hours and it seemingly never stopped raining, I threw myself into photography. I took every class I could enroll in and spent copious amounts of time in the darkroom. I found myself through photography and have never looked back. I have worked with a variety of photographic processes over the years and was hooked when the first image came up in the tray.

I taught high school black and white photography at a small private school in downtown Portland. I was invited for a 5-month temporary teaching position and stayed for 12 years. It was the hardest job I have ever had and by far the most rewarding. Those young people enriched my life. I stepped down from my teaching position to concentrate on my art practice and to be able to spend more time with my family.

My current photographic process is making cyanotypes in the summer in my backyard studio. When it is not sunny, I am printing film positives in my home darkroom for my photo-based 3D objects. My work addresses family, history, love, and loss.

I have exhibited widely over the last twenty years and my work is held in numerous private and public collections including The Fox Talbot Museum, Wiltshire, United Kingdom; The Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Texas; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, Ohio; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana; Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; and OHSU Corporate Collection, Portland, Oregon. I was selected for the Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and was recognized with the solo show award in 2012. My work was also selected for LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards Top 50 in 2014.

I am currently represented by G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, Washington, and Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami, Florida.