In Small Histories, Heidi has elevated a small everyday object, the button, to reveal it as a symbol of our shared human experience. Inspired by collections she has admired in ethnographic museums, Heidi has unlocked the button's narrative potential, creating a series of portraits whose rich colours and attention to detail emulate some of the characteristics of the Old Masters.
While researching this project Heidi has built up an inventory of buttons, old and new, actual and photographed. The paintings represent a cross-section of the memories and emotions encapsulated in each button. Some of the buttons portrayed are instantly recognisable as such; others transcend identification to take up a life of their own.
The accompanying catalogue is a beguiling mix of fact and fantasy, but the owners’ stories are all true, demonstrating how a single button can trigger poignant and universal feelings.