Rather than seeking a resolution to the ongoing abjection of Blackness, Kimberly R. Heard works as a research-based visual artist exploring the systemic and cultural wake in which the legacy of Black humanity continues to exist.
Inspired by the profound writings of authors Tina M. Campt, Christina Sharpe, and Quenton Baker, Kimberly’s work circulates two ontological contemplations; How can we utilize images and their processes to access latent methodologies of being? How can we make frequencies of Blackness seeable while maintaining an opacity that is essential to its continued survival?
Kimberly’s work hybridizes painting and drawing, using black pigments and graphite to explore opacity, texture, and specular reflection as an analogue to the aforementioned contemplations. In doing so, Kimberly explores Black interiority through ideas of objectness, refusal, and ephemerality. Understanding the canonical history of images and their ability to communicate, and subsequently perpetuate, complex ideas of power and identity, Kimberly works to interrogate traditional theories about and processes of drawing, painting, and photography surfacing their collective impact on generations of an African Diasporic population.
Using projections of photographic images from a private collection gifted to her in 2020, Kimberly reconstructs images of the quotidian lives of her loved ones onto canvas. Wielding a mixed palette of monochromatic mediums, her interplay of charcoals, conte, oil paint, and graphite render varying specular interactions, emitting a dynamic range of visual frequencies that simultaneously reveal and conceal components of the reconstructed image overall. Through this mediation of archival material and ontological theory the photographic image, and the inferred messages therein, are destabilized - transmuted into an unfixed form that evinces intergenerational auxiliaries of Blackness across time.