How To Fold My Heart : Jackye Brooks

Location: ArtSpace, Raleigh, NC

Exhibition: October 15-November 30, 2013

First Friday Gallery Walk: November 1, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. – Artspace, a non-profit visual art center in downtown Raleigh, will exhibit in its Lobby Gallery How to Fold My Heart: Three Mothers, Daughters, and Wives featuring artwork by Artspace Artists Association member Heather Gordon.

Gordon, who became an Artspace member in 2013, writes of her new series:

The people and places in our lives define us. Through our relationships to friends, family and geographic spaces, we come to understand who we are and navigate the complexity of choices that create the path of our personal narratives. Can these relationships be visualized? Can this visual expression be read, like a fingerprint, holding all the unique relationships intact?

In searching for an answer to these questions, Gordon combines theories of geometric folding patterns, geographic locations, and personal history to create a method for making origami crease diagrams. The diagrams provide visual suggestions to the artist’s questions.

The works comprising Three Mothers, Daughters, and Wives spring from her series, How to Fold My Heart. Using the birthplaces and residence locations for Gordon’s grandmother, Sue Bergemeyer, and her daughters, Jackye Brooks and Elizabeth Gordon (the artist’s mother), she created a small set of spatially related data used as a springboard to create the final diagrammatic works. As a new parent, Gordon invites us to meditate on our own shifting, contextual identities, as she considers her new role as mother.

“We are so pleased to show Heather’s new work, which beautifully exemplifies a contemporary thread of artists who integrate data into either their process or their finished product,” says Shana Dumont Garr, Director of Programs & Exhibitions at Artspace.

Using a program called TreeMaker developed by Robert Lang in cooperation with Professor Erik Demaine and Martin L. Demaine at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, Gordon uses the geographic locations of her loved ones to create a connected “tree.” She allows the program to mathematically optimize a crease pattern to create a folded origami shape. This pattern can be manipulated while keeping the relational distances intact to generate variations in the resulting shape. The flexibility enables the artist to create a series with a unified appearance and intriguing distinctions.

Born in 1967, Heather Gordon received her B.F.A. from the University of Florida in 1990 and her M.F.A. from New Mexico State University in 1995. She has taught painting, drawing, design, and art appreciation courses in numerous locations from 1992 to1999, and has given lectures about her work at SAS, Cassilhaus, the Ackland Art Museum, and Greenhill. Gordon regularly exhibits locally and nationally.

Gordon relocated to Durham, N.C. in 2009 where she pursues her interests in art and design. She is currently the artist liaison at Golden Belt where she keeps her studio and works to coordinate events, foster public awareness, and facilitate professional development for the 40 plus artists in her group.

Image Information: Heather Gordon, How to Fold My Heart: Jackye Brooks, 60” x 48”, oil on canvas.


Artspace is a nonprofit visual art center dedicated to providing arts education and community outreach programs, creating an environment of more than 120 professional artists and presenting nationally acclaimed exhibitions. Located in downtown Raleigh in the historic Sanders Ford building, Artspace has been providing the community with the opportunity to interact with working artists and to participate in hands-on arts education since 1986. For more information about Artspace, exhibitions, or membership, please visit