How To Fold My Heart With Stripes
How To Fold My Heart With Stripes (2013), 24″ x 30″, latex, graphite, red and blue pencil, and ink on linen

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. As a gay, only child from a small Southern military family, I have led a nomadic and isolated lifestyle. I have called over a dozen locations home. Now, with a 9-month old son, living in a state that does not recognize my marriage, I find myself grappling with issues of family, identity, home, locality, otherness, and the need for community more than ever. How can these ideas be visualized? What form do they take as they shift and evolve over time and space?

How To Fold My Heart attempts to 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, developed by Robert Lang in cooperation with Professor Erik Demaine and Martin L. Demaine at MIT. I create a “tree” using personal data and allow the program to optimize a crease pattern for the origami shape that becomes the template for my images. This tree can be manipulated to create endless variations for the resulting shape.


SELECTED WORKS (view a full listing of these works)

How to Fold My HomeHow to Fold My Home (2011), 48″ x 84″, latex and graphite on latex


How to Fold My Heart as a dryer coil
How to Fold My Heart as a Dryer Coil (2012), 24″ x 36″, latex, graphite and red correction pencil on canvas


HTFMH : Lynn Gordon, 60in x 48in, oil on canvas
HTFMH : Lynn Gordon (2013), 60in x 48in, oil on canvas


How To Fold My Heart: Annah Lee I (2013), 12″ x 12″, enamal and ink with incised lines on panel


Skin #1 (2014), 58″ x 54″, acrylic on loose canvas


Durham in Stripes (2015), 26″ x 20″, gouache on Yupo


left to right (2015): Our Fused Love, My Authentic Artifice, Water for My Father, 84″ x 84″, oil on loose canvas


My Thermodynamic System (2016), 30″ x 30″, acrylic on panel with incised lines