Kristine Heykants

Closeup

Kristine Heykants is interested in pictures that tells stories—that, as she says, “[make] sense of the human experience, while searching for beauty in the familiar and mundane.” She explores women’s roles, domesticity and sources of neo-classical architecture, searching them for the themes which inform her personal projects. She was born in Iowa City, Iowa, but has made her home in Minneapolis for the last 20 years. The photos we’re featuring in this issue of Rootstalk are drawn from “Uprooted,” a series through which she has been exploring the town of Belmond, Iowa , population 2,300.

About the project, Heykants says: “Five years ago I began revisiting Belmond, a place where my paternal grandparents ran a small farm. I never lived there, but the farm remains in the family. Greeted by familiar topics of news headlines—Brain drain, withering small towns, rural poverty, the high-tech nature of industrial agriculture requiring fewer workers, and the new wave of (non-European) immigrants—I was nevertheless struck by constants I remembered from my youth 30-odd years ago.

“I aim to create insight surrounding the challenges of positive human connection, particularly at a time when the economic perspective of city dwellers is at odds with those living in the country, while shedding light on the paradoxes, complexities and social realities of rural Midwestern life.”

“Wright County Fair, Eagle Grove”

“Wright County Fair, Eagle Grove”

“Morning Corn Harvest”

“Morning Corn Harvest”

“New Years Eve, Church Parking Lot”

“New Years Eve, Church Parking Lot”

“Concessions at Football Stadium”

“Concessions at Football Stadium”

About the Author
While she seems to be equally comfortable shooting portraits or landscapes, what drew us to the work of photographer Kristine Heykants was the way she combines the two, bringing her figures into the prairie in a way that neither renders her human subjects tiny nor robs the space of its quiet grandeur. There is simultaneously an intimacy and mystery in her compositions.