Terrapin Basin is 5’ x7’ and is set into the ground creating a basin that invites visitors to explore. The sculpture was constructed from locally sourced sandstone, native to the area, which was cut, assembled and polished onsite. Heller’s carving process is similar to the formation of rivers and coastlines – an active process and one that he shared onsite with visitors as the project unfolded. The stone form of the sculpture mimics the shape of nests that diamondback terrapins dig to lay their eggs. This piece serves as an educational experience creating conversation about how all of these elements can co-exist and be preserved.
Benjamin Heller is a cross disciplinary artist who explores various mediums in his sculptures. Drawing from a diverse background and training in visual arts, photography, dance, and physical improvisation, his works create intimate environments that can be entered and explored via one's senses and imagination.
Using materials that are often organic, such as wood, stone, reed or found within his local environment, he creates sensitizing structures that afford physical conversations between the natural dynamics of the material and a new experience for the body. These sculptures and environments can then be expanded by performance or met by others.
His photography, video and sculptural performance works have been shown at the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Brooklyn Museum, Wave Hill, New York Live Arts, ICP International Center of Photography, Robin Rice Gallery, Fresh Window Gallery, Eyebeam, New York Foundation for the Arts, and Honey Space Gallery in New York. In 2013 he was selected for the Bronx Museum AIM residency program and Biennial Exhibition.