Charlene Morrow

Faculty Emerita
Psychology & Education/Mathematics Departments, Mount Holyoke College
Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA

I work mainly in the medium of modular and geometric origami. I am motivated to understand mathematical ideas by attempting to express these ideas in visual ways. I am deeply impressed by the ways that visually pleasing art often emerges through the process of trying to gain a deeper understanding of the mathematical ideas I set out to explore. I also find that new questions emerge as I look for ways to express my original questions. The dialectical process of mathematical question – visual expression – mathematical question engages my imagination and allows me to experience both the beauty and the power of mathematics. Through combinatorics I strive to create maximally varied designs from minimal sets of objects and/or colors.

Off The Wall
Off The Wall
60 x 60 x 5 cm
White Baker's Parchment Paper, Black Rice Paper

This work is a "curiosity cabinet" of folded designs inspired by a flat, star-shaped painting by Frank Stella that has lines parallel to all edges and meeting in the middle. This work brings the flat design into three dimensions by using an origami corrugation technique that changes the footprint of the flat work, but shows all of the surface area of the paper. Each of the folded designs is collapse-able to a different degree, depending on how the original four Vs that comprise the star are reconfigured. In various designs the Vs impede each other to a great or lesser degree, which affects how small the footprint of the new design can become. Also, for each design the Vs were rearranged to cover a complete set of mathematical possibilities.