heather gordon studio
photograph by Eric Waters

heather gordon artIf you’re the only child of an engineer father and a financial analyst mother, there’s a good chance that you and Heather Gordon might agree on something: “I think numbers are beautiful,” she says. A lover of algorithms and an “analog junkie,” Gordon strives to tell stories about personal relationships using geometry, numbers, and code — she transformed a portion of Crime and Punishment into the computer code ASCII — and asymmetrical origami shapes, some large enough to walk through. Never mind the math. Just appreciate the genius.

Heather Gordon translates numbers into oil paintings like Last Woman Standing (above), a data portrait of her mother, which maps the distances between all of the places she’s lived.

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Kelly is a contributing editor at Our State. She is the author of By Accident and the novels Now You Know, The Last of Something, Even Now, and How Close We Come, winner of the Carolina Novel Award and an alternate selection of Book-of-the-Month Club. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Greensboro.