Irene F. Whittome was born in Vancouver in 1942. She taught at Concordia University in Montreal from 1968 to 2007. She lives and works in Montreal and Ogden, in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. Between 1995 and 2000, her works were the subject of four solo exhibitions in the institutional context: at the Centre International d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (CIAC) (1995), the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal (1997), the Canadian Centre for Architecture (1998), and the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec (2000). In 2001, she began work in the Stanstead area to create Conversation Adru, presented at the Art Gallery of Bishop’s University (now Foreman Art Gallery). Irene F. Whittome has received many awards for artistic excellence, including the Victor-Martyn-Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council of the Arts (1991), the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, Toronto (1992), the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas from the Government of Quebec (1997), and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2002). In 2005, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her works are in the collections of Canada’s major museums. Since 2005, she has been represented by Galerie Simon Blais in Montreal.
set of 9 photogravure embossed intaglio prints, ed. 20 portfolio
full bleed: 16.25” x 13.5”
In keeping with her practice of of investigating the significance of collection and her fascination for the Pacific art-Ozeanische Kunst (1990), Oceanie/Chine (1997) Irene F. Whittome has explored her own Oceania, taking as her starting point nine plates from this book. Whittome observes the way in which the common and distinguishing cultural traits of these myriad islands of the Southern Seas are interwoven, and offers a variety of translation from their common ground. The photoengraved images of the tiki, an ancestral pendant of the tapa, a fabric woven of vegetable fibres and decorated with pigments, or of masks made of wood or bark, all serve to buttress the artist’s aquatint mediation. She superimposes her own stamp on the work through the addition of a calligraphic gesture, which in turn is heightened by a subtle relief.