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.