imkirkwood artist

I create visual narratives with my fine art drawings and computer prints


I was on a Ted Talk...sort of

Posted by iris m. kirkwood on October 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM

I was on a Ted Talk...sort of


The Ted Talk is an intellectual gathering of Thinkers, scientist,educators, or an ordinary Joe whose thought of something so cutting edge simple that it deserves to be made known. The Ted Talks have a site And on the site is an area where the conversations started by the talks can continue; or you can start your own conversation. Awhile back on the Ted Talk Conversation site someone posted the question-What were three things you believed in as a child that as an adult you no longer believe? 

Many people responded with they no longer believed in god or goodness.

             Well the usual Santa Claus came to mind for me. But that was superficial and to me this question called for deeper thought.What did I take for granted as true when a child that I no longer believe?

Such a simple question. I had never considered my memories in this manner before and when the answer came to me I found it chilling. 

1.That the members of my family would die in order, dad, mom,me the oldest child, my sister     and then my little brother.

2. That having talent was all you needed to be successful.

3. That the races would come together if only they spent more time together and got to know     each other as people.

As an adult I no longer believe those things. But as a child I took it for granted that these things were facts. The question on Ted Conversation did not require an explanation of why the change as an adult.But I feel the need to explain how these changes came about for me.

1. My youngest brother died at age27 and was brought back to life. He was the victim of an assault and spent 3 months in a coma. It was 9 months before he was discharged to home. Some of who he was before the assault did not return.

2. Over the years I have met many people with extraordinary talent, singers, visual artist, photographers, actors, people with a natural talent for math and numbers, and those who can make the most useful items out of nothing.But beyond their home, church or family they never soar.

3.I have lived long enough to see the sabotage of the public school system in America. After the law requiring schools to integrate never occurred to African Americans and those involved with the civil rights movement  that the public school system would become a weapon of destruction through crippling policy and underfunding rather than offer an equal education to the children. 

What does this have to do with my art? I think everything. The original Ted question forced me to look at facts of my life that I had never consciously pulled together. Before the question, what I had were disjointed pieces of knowledge and memories. The pathos, laughter, humiliations, joy that I experience whether consciously or not directs me when making visual narratives . I am thankful for the question and the insight that it allowed me to find. I look at the Ted Talk site at least once a week to see what else I might find out about myself and the world.IMKirkwood




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The Pencil Drawings by Iris M. Kirkwood

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Talking Leaves Books,

3158 Main St., Buffalo NY