Working as a Woman Artist

Reflections on Working as a Woman Artist:
talk and visuals by Irma Irsara

DATE AND TIME: Thursday March 8 – 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
LOCATION: Resource For London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA (map below)

Italian artist Irma Irsara has chosen International Women’s Day to talk about her experiences as a woman artist during a career that spans over 30 years. The event is being held in conjunction with her current exhibition at Resource for London: ‘Zero Celsius – Digital Prints’.

Irma will share her thoughts on growing up in a male dominated environment, the impact of gender politics on her time at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Urbino, and the current position of women artists in the art establishment.

She will reflect on her experiences, both positive and negative, with galleries, collectors, art consultants and art fairs, as well as exploring the idea of going the solo route versus connecting with peers through collectives. She will explore how the urgency of wanting to create art conflicted with the practical side of the business. She also had to re-think her practice after the birth of her children and considers the effect of motherhood on both the content of her art and her working practices.

Irma Irsara grew up on the foothills of Monte Croce in the Italian Dolomites and her work is heavily influenced by the natural environment. She has a special interest in ecology, conservation and climate change. As well as her artistic training at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Urbino in Italy, she studied Country Care and Conservation at Capel Manor Horticultural College in Enfield. Her practice encompasses a broad range of media and techniques, with ‘pulp work’ representing a large part of her recent output. She has lived and worked in London for many years and exhibits both in the UK and abroad.

Resource for London is where the voluntary sector comes to work, meet and exhibit. Owned by Trust for London and managed by the Ethical Property Company, all proceeds stay within the voluntary sector and are used to support groups tackling inequality in London while the Centre is managed to high environmental standards.

Zero Celsius – digital prints

My current exhibition is at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA until 27th March ’18 – exhibition statement below.

“The transparency of the material leads me to look closer, almost searching for and imaginary landscape inside the heart of the ice. I find ice is very similar to other materials I have used in the past like glass, mirror and pulp. When light enters the artwork, it makes the edges more defined and frees the boundaries between artwork and the surrounding space.”

Irma Irsara‘s work is influenced by an interest in environmental issues in a practice that embraces techniques as diverse as fibre art, stained glass bookmaking, print, video and installation. Within the context of the Anthropocene Epoch, where human activity has been the dominant influence in altering the geographical landscape, Irsara contemplates ideas of  symbiosis as a strategy for human survival. The symbiosis of organic materials with the ice is particularly significant. It is the moment when nature takes over and the artist becomes the observer of new forms.

The digital prints on display are a permanent record of the time-based, site-specific installation work created by the artist in 2013/14. This constantly changing and daily-renewed work was produced over a three week period in the former Victorian ice wells at the London Canal Museum, King’s Cross. Working with ice, a material very much associated with the theme of climate change, the work explores natural cycles and outcomes in relation to surrounding conditions and is intended as a starting point for debate. She has a fascination with the medium, from the fusing together of forms to the slow, imperceptible movement of embedded material – bark, melinex, wire lights – as the melting process progresses. She also examines the possibility of producing hollow forms of ice by utilizing the natural freezing process. This is further explored in her more recent time-lapse pieces. Irsara is intrigued by the notion of a precise moment of transformation and change of state.

Zero Celsius DAY 13 – 02


Victorian Ice Wells, London Canal Museum, King’s Cross  –  Non-permanent, ever-changing, time-based ice installation

Ice (created from canal water on site each day using three top loading freezers from), 1.3mm El Wire, different lengths powered by mains and battery packs (for embedded lights), Melanex shapes, Silver birch bark sourced from fallen trees source restored to original location at the end of the project. Charcoal made from pruned vine branches.

Dimensions variable.

Zero Celsius was an opportunity to witness, explore and be part of an unexpected subterranean landscape in the heart of King’s Cross. Through investigation and elaboration of different elements embedded in blocks of ice, artist Irma Irsara developed an experimental work with ever-changing outcomes. The installation process was determined by the interaction between the artist, the unique host location and the melting shapes of ice, resulting in a unique participatory experience.

London Print Show – Members Summer Show

Zero Celsius_DAY_8_ 07SUMMER MEMBERS SHOW 2016
425 Harrow Road, London W10 4RE
24th June – 26th August 2016

Opening party: Thursday June 23rd 6.30pm – 8.30pm

This year’s London Print Studio’s Members Summer Show offers snapshot of fine art contemporary printmaking in London. The show features work across the full range of print techniques, with etching particularly well represented. There is work by well established and emerging artists.

Picture shows digital print (ZC DAY 8 – 07) from the Zero Celsius series of images taken of the ice installation in the former Victorian ice wells at the London Canal Museum.

BYOB 2015

IMG_4385BYOB Brighton was back yesterday for Brighton Digital Festival in Brighton Dome. Pop-up Brighton’s 4th annual event returned once again for a night of collaborative moving image, projection, participation and experimentation.

This was my second time participating in the event and a chance to project time lapse ‘work in progress’, D-freeze (first 4 images). Last 3 images show work by some of the other artists.

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