Duality: In Unplain Sight
“Due to a complication at birth, my eyes do not work together and I have constant double vision. I see a hyper clear image with my dominant eye, and with my weaker eye I see an overlapping ghost image. My double vision has ignited a lifelong interest in dualities, and how they are apparent in every facet of our lives. In order to make sense of my chaotic visual input I organize my life through minimalism and accuracy, which gets translated through my artistic process. My medium of choice is colored pencil, which I treat as dry paint to achieve accuracy through blending. This collection of artwork demonstrates a progression of my work over the last five years from figurative mirror images, to overlapping objects, to an artist residency that focuses on duality.
The porcelain figurines are portraits of family heirlooms that feature my double vision that is both blurry and sharp. Between each image is an overlapping void that represents how two identical objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. This often causes me to wonder: which version is the real one?
The series of historical structures and arms were created during an artist residency at Coltsville National Historical Park in Hartford, Connecticut. Coltsville is located on the grounds of the former Colt factory complex, which was used to produce firearms. Samuel Colt sold weapons to both sides of conflicts, and I wanted to emphasize this duality, among others, through double imagery, symmetry, and balance: Win / Loss, Life / Death, Friend / Enemy, Exploitation / Profit. The all-seeing cobalt blue onion dome that sits atop the factory is visible from all areas of Colt Park, and therefore appears repeatedly throughout the drawings. Colt often used European styles of architecture to provide his immigrant workers with a sense of familiarity, as is seen in workers’ housing. Gold stars appear throughout because they are painted on the onion dome, and they serve as a symbol for the loss of a service member in combat and are worn by the families of the fallen.
Ultimately, this collection of artwork is representative of an internal shift of being fearful of how the world views my misaligned eyes to becoming confident in sharing my unique view of the world.” – Heather Heckel