Heather's approach is that of artist
rather than journalist, and has worked in depth through many trials and
events involving children as victims and/or perpetrators. She believes that
close attention to the visible can help toward understanding, and that the
gestures and expressions of people in crisis reveal more than words.
The Reena Virk Trials
The murder of
14 year old Reena Virk by schoolmates, in Victoria, has aroused deep concern
in about violence among children in our society. Thoughout the trials Heather
Spears has recorded these children and their stories in an attempt to understand
what happened and why it happened.
An hour's presentation and discussion, illustrated with slides, was held
5 times in Canada in 2000. This presentation is suitable for schools and
community events. Please contact Heather
Spears for details.
"Drawings and sparse commentary have power transcending almost any other
kind of communication." Dr. Jonathan Fine, Executive Director, Physicians
for Human Rights, USA.
Reading: a witness in words and drawings to the Reena Virk Trials, 1998-2000,
Wolsak and Wynn, was published in December, 2000.
"A story that should be told... text and images working together to
Carey, The Toronto Star
An exhibition of 54 drawings, with a catalog of
the texts, was shown at The Community Arts Council Gallery, Victoria, June
29-July 12, 2000.
"You are a great witness to record without judging--and the sentiments
come through. This exhibit is history. It should be archived properly and
made into a book. It should be purchased intact and outright by the Canada
Council Art Bank or better yet by the Reena Virk Foundation (against violence
by youth to youth--yet to be established) ... we mustn't forget her or your
document of the trials."
Paul Scrivener, Custodial Chair, Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria.