Crystal Heiden’s work defies easy categorization. The idea of motion is expressed through a variety of media, including sculpture, drawing, photography, video and installation works. Heiden is particular adept at articulating anticipatory motion: static objects appear to be just about to move, poised perpetually on the edge of intention. Even the landscape – the subject of Heiden’s sculpture series, Mountains – becomes imbued with a sense of potential; the open delineation of jagged peaks speaks to deeper fires rumbling below.
To illuminate and expand a small moment – especially one that recurs continually through everyone’s everyday experience – is a meaningful accomplishment. What we really like about Crystal’s work is the way it interrupts the flow of perception: the viewer is gracefully but firmly made to stop and consider what is too often lost – the fleeting transitions that occur as one thing becomes another.
Heiden has traveled extensively, studying and working in China, Italy and Nova Scotia. She completed her MFA at Northwestern and has had numerous shows, including many here in Connecticut. Heiden’s desire to know and experience everything has certainly shaped her work: her video series “Walking With Myself” reveals some perspective on what that exploratory process has been like for her.
Video is enjoying its moment in the sun as an artistic medium. The ubiquity of digital recording devices have made it possible for almost everyone to access and record the raw material of life. Heiden’s transformative approach to this raw material effectively integrates the observer’s experience into the work: to view her Observed Motion series, a simple but definite choreography applies. Thought provoking and refreshing, Heiden’s work raises questions each viewer must answer anew. How intentional are our journeys? Are we truly moving of our own volition or simply being carried along by the momentum of external events? The depth and breadth of Heiden’s exploration of motion gives everyone something to think about.
Crystal Heiden welcomes open studio visits.