”Has something happened or will something happen soon? Tiina Heiska’s paintings pose questions but they do not give easy answers. Heiska’s paintings are based on photography and cinematography. The images she uses as a draft for her paintings can be stills from films or photos taken by herself. She works by making a series of paintings; a same theme flows from one painting to another. Heiska has created her own psychological way of narration even though the complicated play between a photo, a painted representation of a photo and a painting that looks like a photo refers to Gerhard Richter.
Heiska shamelessly seduces a viewer. By using female accessories and dressing-up Heiska plays with identity, sexuality, desire, age and gender. A female character in the paintings, whose age is ambiguous, is seductive and fragile. You find her in strange and odd places. What’s happening? Is she just a mirage that is hovering in the painting, something unobtainable? The atmosphere is threatening, depressive and exciting. It is left to the viewer’s imagination to fill-in the story.
Even though Heiska’s paintings may leave you with an uneasy feeling, they satisfy you with the mastery of painting technique. She deals with the process of an origin of a painting. The layers of colors are skillfully painted making them look almost translucent. However, at the same time the colors and hues are strong. The powerful effect is achieved by using one bright color – like pink or blue – against the greenish-greyish background.” Maija Koskinen, director of Kunsthalle Helsinki
First there were three paintings which Maija Koskinen nominated for Sovereign European Art Prize 2008: Crawling Girl, girl with Red Shoes and woman in Baby Blue Overcoat trying to put on too small shoes. Crawling Girlmade it to the shortlist of thirty artists all over Europe.
Those three paintings then expanded to the series Growing Small which was exhibited at Gallery Ama in Helsinki 2008. In 2009 some paintings of the series were selected into group show ”Human Traces” curated by Juha-Heikki Tihinen at Oulu Museum of Art.