Irene Torres

Virginia Baxter

Irene Torres, Untitled 2003

Irene Torres, Untitled 2003

A lot of art arrives in the mail at the RealTime office—on cards, disks, paper, acetate, vinyl, wood. We also receive key-rings, balloons, small packages (a tiny bag of sand arrived recently with the word “Escape” on a tag inside) and another day, a hand-painted box containing a pistol in papier-maché. Something about the moody postcard image from first site, a gallery with a strong commitment to emerging artists, stopped me opening mail this particular August morning. It showed the work of Irene Torres, a 22 year-old RMIT drawing student currently completing her honours year who featured with others in first site’s Recent Works exhibition. Torres speculates on the found photograph “as a representation of the experience of others in relation to [her] own.” She makes photocopies of these lost images and draws them (literally) into mysterious worlds. Occasional words and names are scratched into the grainy surface—“a gesso ground layered with various mediums, mainly graphite, acrylic paint, charcoal and pastels applied to pieces of MDF board.” Inspired by artists like Louise Bourgeois (especially her book of family photographs), Torres focusses on “the tension between the representation and the abstract space.” She uses the horizon line as a foundation for the image. The effect of distance and displacement is enhanced in the scale of these long, thin surfaces. Torres’ figures look like colonial time travellers caught in fragile, sometimes fearful landscapes.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 41

© Virginia Baxter; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

1 October 2003
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