Photo by Karla Matzke
Originally trained as a biologist, Kirk changed careers in his early thirties to become a sculptor, earning a BFA in 1983. Once he began incorporating stone into mixed media works it quickly crowded out the other materials. For almost two decades he did abstract granite and basalt sculpture in human scale.
Realizing that his abstract work generally represented the issues of cycles of life and growth, in 2001 Kirk changed his focus to more explicitly exploring these ideas in his work. In particular he dealt with the metaphor of a tree growing from rock.
In 2009 Kirk’s wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and he became her caregiver until her death in 2013. Without having the time to create art while caregiving his mind filled with a backlog of visual metaphors dealing with grief. He is now back to working with a series Love & Loss about his caregiving experience and the loss of his beloved. In this work he is returning to mixed media including stone, metal, wood, and various cast materials.
After the backlog of ideas is cleared out, he is planning the next series on aging, in particular the changing roles one encounters in life. He is already gathering found materials for the first in the series.