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Heather Gordon
North Carolina

Artist Statement Submitted 2014

Through the people and place in our lives, we come to understand who we are and create our personal narratives, our identity and our sense of belonging.

My recent work, How To Fold My Heart, illustrate these ideas as origami folding patterns using personal data tied to geographic location. Each work is the instructions for creating the shape of my life and the lives of family members, resulting in conceptual portraits. To develop the patterns, I use a program called TreeMaker. I create a connected “tree” using personal data and allow the program to optimize a crease pattern for the origami shape that becomes the template for my images.

Stylistically, my works have a diagrammatic sensibility. They are comprised of planar geometric shapes with numbers punctuating the space alluding to the data-driven nature of the content. I use discarded latex paint from homes in my community. In this way, my colors are pre-chosen, symbolically determined by those whose lives are pictured.

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