Born in Bluff, of Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe/ Scottish/ English ancestry, Irene gained her arts training in Australia and began exhibiting in 1985.


Since returning to New Zealand in 2007 Irene has continued her involvement in the arts both as a curator and exhibiting artist.  As an artist she translates experiences into artistic records of historical events and personalities. Extensive enquiry goes into a series, with each clay story meticulously researched, planned and conceptualised before it is placed in the kiln.

Wahi Motuhake/A Special Place I, 2016
Terracotta and Stoneware clay, dry glaze
520 x 460 x 75 mm

Wahi Motuhake/A Special Place II, 2016
Terracotta and Stoneware clay, dry glaze
350 x 310 x 40 mm

Early morning, its chill, bush-clad shores reflected in still water, the mist slowly lifting to reveal the multitude of tiny islands protected by dense forest and snow-capped mountains. The past imprint of humans: earth pits created by the first-known inhabitants, the gap in the tree canopy, cut to watch the stars during the stay of Captain Cook’s Resolution, Richard Henry’s chimney and the moss-covered tree fern stumps of the kākāpō pen. Wonderful!

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