About my work


The themes of my artwork explore human navigation and orientation, and the longing for the unknown and intangible.

We humans travel around the world and it is part of our nature to be drawn to the most remote places. If this is not possible, we virtually experience these places. The geological surface of our planet is mostly explored and accessible. We have reached a tipping point, where nature is changing because of our extension and desires.

I am fascinated with this inherent human longing for pristine nature and the remote unknown. For me, the snow-covered mountains of alpine landscape symbolize this longing. The feeling of the sublime that the romantics already associate with mountains, arises when I see these untouched peaks and snow covered mountains – maybe because their great height and expanse feels so close to heaven?

I collect artifacts from the beginnings of alpinism – a time when people became interested in the Alps as a place of longing and started setting out to climb and map the mountains.

I begin with my collection of historical black and white photographs of alpine landscapes: timeless scenes that depict the untouched nature of remote places. I cut and rejoin fragments of these images to compose fictional mountain landscape and panoramic scenes for my graphite drawings. I play with proportions, distances, and scale revealing the embodied experience of standing against these expansiveness snow covered ranges.

I fold up the drawings to construct three-dimensional dioramas that mimic the experience of observing scenery. The collages are made with translucent glassine, which enhances the feeling of the viewer being separate from the scene.

In my latest work I use the artifacts of this period as material itself. I am fascinated by the tactile surface of the photo prints, the feel of the paper used in the topographic maps, the illustrated books, and the panoramas of this other time. I love the surprise that comes with reconfiguring these materials. Folding and shaping these artifacts becomes a harmonious dialog between myself and the material, the dimensionality and the refraction of light in search of discoveries and points of entry into a new landscape.

Ulrike Heydenreich