Heike Arndt Sculptures
written by Alanna Dongowski
When bringing lifescale bronze sculptures to Greenland for the first time, Heike Arndt found her artworks surrounded by villagers and their children, who were climbing the figurations and laying their hands onto their sun-warmed surface in awe.
Every figure she makes seems to be an exemplary representative of a fundamental human emotion, action or behaviour. They communicate with each other as well as the outer world. The sculptures, especially the larger scaled ones, sit not only as objects of admiration, but as part of an interaction.
Casting bronze was a natural step to take for Heike, after having worked intensely with clay and ceramics. Unlike these familiar materials, the durable Bronze allowed Heike to place her sculptures in public and to play with contexts.
Her Statues are always figurative, almost always depicting human bodies in different degrees of abstraction. This invites a special kind of viewer-approach and allows her to apply her core topic communication to another level of her art.
Heike Arndt’s series of humans also includes a series of miniatures. These chubby bodied, bendy-limbed figures pinpoint distinct human expressions on a small scale. Their rounded bodies and fin-like hands add a smoothness to their shape. That frees them of characteristics like gender, ethnicity and age and reduces them to the core of their expressions.
Some times in pairs, sometimes alone on different pedestals, they may be placed at various distances without disrupting the communication, inviting the audience to pick them up and explore different relations within the room.
Heike Arndt’s move series tells stories of life in motion. The work consists of various rusty looking bronze carts. They were, regarding size and scale, conceptualized to be grouped and distributed to fit into different exhibition spaces, adapting to the circumstances they encountered there.
The house on wheels is an ambivalent image: Movement and life can fall together in different ways. Taking a holiday is vastly different from fleeing a country in a caravan. The motion is the same, both vehicles may even pass by each other, crossing ways on the motorway. But the experience varies greatly.
“We need a ‘home’ to identify ourselves as human beings – but in order to meet others with respect it is just crucial to understand that people have different experiences of ‘home’.”