Heather Gordon

July 15 – August 23, 2019

“Forest for the Trees” is an installation project that uses forestry data and mapping to create an origami shape to describe a narrative of resource management in Duke Forest.

About the Project

Image by Michelle Lotker

Working with the David M Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Duke University Archives, Gordon has researched a variety of documents related to Duke Forest. Starting in 1931, these documents include initial campus plans detailing trees of various species, maps, aerial photographs of Duke Forest and correspondence related to research projects, ledgers documenting lumber sales, details of forest plots, information of vegetations and tasks performed including thinning, data statistics, and many other materials.

The Duke Forest is more than 7,000 acres of forested land in Durham, Orange, and Alamance counties, managed by Duke University for teaching and research. For more information about the history of Duke Forest, click here.

Gordon’s project “Forest for the Trees” seeks to distill a narrative of resource management relevant to today’s overwhelming concern for climate change. Her process includes the production of an origami map informed by her research data which provides the blueprint for the installation of a temporary site-specific tape work applied to the windows at the Ruby. The visual goal is to bring the trees inside.

Gordon’s research materials and initial design documents will be available during her residency period along with other works on paper related to her project.

Gordon currently has work included in the Weatherspoon Art Museum’s “DOUBLE EDGED: Geometric Abstraction Then and Now” running through August 18, 2019 in Greensboro, NC.

About the Artist

Image by Michelle Lotker

Born in 1967, Heather Gordon is the daughter of an accountant and engineer. She 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 lives and works in Durham, NC. Her recent installation work titled “Cinnabar” was included in the exhibition “You Are Here: Light, Color and Sound Experiences” at the North Carolina Museum of Art. In addition, collaborative projects with choreographer Justin Tornow include “Penumbra” as part of Gordon’s exhibition at CAM Raleigh titled “And Then the Sun Swallowed Me”, “ECHO” at 21C, and “SHOW” at The Durham Fruit. Also in 2018, Gordon completed a tape installation at The Dillon in downtown Raleigh titled “Steel”, and installed several tape works at the NC School of Science & Math where she exhibited additional works on paper and provided a public lecture on the subject of alchemy, science, and the arts.

In 2014, Gordon received a North Carolina Artist Fellowship and has been a full-time artist since 2015.