Acknowledging Uncertainty

IRENE ORROM

September 27 – October 23, 2022

Acknowledging uncertainty:
In this body of work, I revisit the process of collage as a method of grounding the concept of the present before extending my process of tackling the paradigm of control by superimposing line, colour blocks and gestural mark making.

BIOGRAPHY
Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Irene worked as a radiological technologist for many years before studying fine arts at the University of Alberta.

EXHIBITIONS
BFA Grad Show 1997, U of A, Edmonton, Ab.
Private Sponsor Shapiro Solo Show 1997, Edmonton, Ab.
COCA Group Show 1998, Christchurch, NZ
MISSA, Metchosin BC. Artist Residency 2001
SOOKE Juried Exhibition, Sooke, BC 2001
Private Sponsor Meier Group Show, 2003, Edmonton, Ab.

AWARDS
Jurors Choice Award Sooke Fine Arts 2001

COLLECTIONS
Irene’s work is in private collections in B.C., Alberta, Whitehorse,YT, St. John’s, Nfld., P.E.I., Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, Boston, Mass., Christchurch, NZ, London, U.K.

 

ARTIST STATEMENT :

From the painted caves in Lascaux, France, to graffitti painted on the walls of buildings which exist in every town and city, human beings have expressed themselves visually throughout time. For me, art in general, and painting in particular feed a primal need. 

Going back to school at the age of 40 was not something I initially had planned to do. I picked an occupation which I enjoyed working at for many years, but I wanted more. More for my brain, more for my heart, more for my soul.

 At some point I started taking a few courses at University; there was so much I wanted to know. First psychology, then sociology, anthropology, then art history. That is where I met other students who were taking studio courses.  I visited their studios and knew 

immediately that THIS was what I wanted to do. I started with a foundation class that covered a plethora of the visual fundamentals of art. Then I proceeded to figurative sculpture, abstract sculpture, drawing the life model and then I took an abstract painting course. I was hooked!! 

Colour, any colour, every colour, was mine. ALL MINE. I experimented with materials, texture, gesture; learning a new language that was mine. ALL MINE.

 This is why I paint. This language is my voice. Fine art was certainly not anything I had ever dreamed of doing and now I can’t dream of doing anything else! It’s like Christmas every time I start a new painting. I never know what present I will receive. 

My new neighbour just shared a quote by Martha Graham (the legendary American dancer) as told to Agnes de Mille: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” 

I am humbled to be the conduit through which my art flows.

My process is one that solely depends on intuition and reaction to elements of form, line, colour, and pattern I create by means of collage, gestural mark making and painting fields of colour. This is where uncertainty rears it’s ugly, beautiful head.  

To quote Mandy Hale from Tiny Buddha:

Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible. 

My response to the initial foundation I create on a painting may be continuing to add more elements covering up all that came before; thereby removing it from view, but knowing that it hovers below the surface. Sometimes, I will go back and uncover portions of the initial work. This is where the the question arises of when to stop. I find I advance and then retreat; all the while knowing that the finish line is out there in front of me. It could take me a week, a month  or a day to get to this point. Then something happens and the forward momentum carries me there, and Santa Claus is back!

One last quote by an amazing woman regarding uncertainty :

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.” by  Gilda Radner

The process of creating a painting for me fills me with “delicious ambiguity” and is as important, if not more, as the end result.