In may 2011 the possibility of travelling to Afghanistan came through.
The fact to be able to go to one of the most important historical places of antiquity , mid path of the “Silk Road” , invaded by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and now a days , still making history, with an invasion of more than 300 hundred thousand military men and woman of different nationalities, pushed me forward into channeling all my energy towards departing as soon as possiblle.
The opportunity of having a Studio to paint in Herat City, as well as to be able to visit Kabul and Bamyam has been one of the most fullfilling and treasurable experiences that I have ever had.
Day to day, the complete and unconditional support of many people, made me realize that we all, are part of an universal web of interdependence, nothing moves on its own, we are all connected by causes and conditions.
I have travelled before on my own in Asia, but travelling alone in Afghanistan , where life by minutes can be so fragile, and lenguage and religión are so particular, made my state of concioussness highly alert and extremely perceptive
As an artist, I am driven to inmerse myself in cultures different to mine. Exposing myself to new textures of earth, flavors, colors and stories of their inhabitants.
The camera, my inseparable companion, connects the inner vision of my eyes, capturing and sealing alluring images that will be kept and shared.
Months have passed since my trip, and I am still in awe, deeply moved by unique memories of the day to day life of Herati people in their struggle to live peacefully in a country at war.
Women, fight for freedom in a culture where restrictions keep them shun under their veils. They are unacknowledged heroines in their silent steps.
Passersbys, walk in dusty streets on their way to bazaars, risking their lifes. Boys and girls go to school without knowing at what moment a car, or a man with a bomb under his turbant will explode.
With my work, I want to show not only the Afghanistan under the yoke of a cruel war, the Afghanistan of blood, but a country where people dare to go for picnic on Fridays at Babur Gardens, families gathering at Ban D Amir ( one of the most exquisite places in this world), praying at Gazergah, at the tomb of the sufi poet Ansari, or people who go to buy birds and cages at Kafaroshi Birds Market in Kabul.
Girls and boys on their way to school , and the sowers of potatoes and barley. All of those who´s only wish is a life without fear, a life of peace.
Like A Departure Point…
When one begins to make a weave, the development of the fiber begins from a point. In similar form to a ball of yarn, a cocoon, the creations of Irene grow from an epicenter. Their works have an axis from which they develop and they increase. For that reason they are tied to life or rather they emulate that vital growth that goes from inside to outside.
Centered in a convergence, these compositions are centripetal, because their parts join in organic forms, causing a full vision, which it is easy to enter into them selves and feel embraced as in a maternal breast. For that reason, we are caught and surrounded by them. We become part of a whirlpool that absorbs to us trough its colors, textures and outlines.
One does not theorize in front of this works, you sense them and enter in connection with something that has been in gestation and given birth with the force and tenderness of life. The primitive character where they have been carried and the visual vocabulary with which they speak to us, take us to very elementary experiences; they connect to us with our vital and simultaneously spiritual center.
Its impact is direct, as it is in the rhythms, sounds and elements of nature. Each one evokes the form into which the climate, geography, earth, water and wind are part of our life and our surroundings.
Irene transmits the sense of the vital and primordial. Her artist vocabulary put us in front of the ancestral, she grants us immediately with the fundamental and archaic. Silvia Herrera Ubico/ 2008
2010 Gallery Ana Lucia Gómez, Guatemala
2007 Gallery Ana Lucia Gómez Guatemala
2005 Gallery Panza Verde, Antigua Guatemala
2004 Gallery Ana Lucia Gomez, Guatemala
2003 Vertice Gallery, Guatemala
2002 Vertice Gallery, Guatemala
2001 Atico Gallery, Guatemala
2000 Gallery Viva, Captiva Island, USA
1999 Gallery Codice, Nicaragua
1999 Gallery Vilanova, San Salvador
1999 Universidad Rafael Landivar, Guatemala
1998 Gallery Plástica Contemporánea, Guatemala
1996 Gallery Plástica Contemporánea, Guatemala
1995 Gallery Plástica Contemporánea, Guatemala
1994 Museo Ixchel, Guatemala
1992 Gallery Plástica Contemporánea, Guatemala
1991 Gallery Plástica Contemporánea , Guatemala
1990 Gallery 1-2-3 ,San Salvador
1989 Gallery Plásica Conemporánea, Guatemala
1987 Gallery, “The Gallery”, San Salvador
1986 Gallery El Túnel, Guatemala
1985 Museo Ixchel, Guatemala
Relevant Group Shows
2010 Gallery Códice, Nicaragua
2010 North American Costa Rican Cultural Center, Costa Rica
2007 Gallery Carlow & Co. Costa Rica
2005 Paradehuset Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
2001 Tourist Group Kinki, Japan
2000 Artique Gallery, Guatemala
1999 Latin American Festival, 1999 World Trade Center Club, Taipei
1998 Taipei Art Fair
Gallery Portales, Honduras, Gallery Códice, Nicaragua,
Valanti Gallery, Costa Rica, Gallery Vilanova, San Salvador,
Gallery Plástica Contemporánea, Guatemala.
1997 Patronato Pro-Patrimonio Cultural, San Salvador
1996 Gallery Art-Consult, Panama
1995 Gallery Sol del Rio, Guatemala
1994 GalleryPlástica Contemporánea, Guatemala
1993 Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic, Gallery I-2-3,
San Salvador, Museum Hildesheim, Germany
1991 Museum of Modern Art, Dominican Republic
Sol Del Rio Gallery, Guatemala
1988 Centro Cultural de La Villa, Spain
Banco del Café
Museo de Arte Moderno, Dominican Republic
Awards and Honors:
1993 Selected Artist in Residence
Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic.
2010 Invited as a creative artist in the Biennial
Iberoamerican Textile Network, Costa Rica
2007 El Hilo de el Discurso, book by Lucrecia médez de Penedo
2006 Latin Amercan Art, National Art Museum, Guatemala
2005 Liv I Billeder, Samtidskunst Fra Guatemala, Denmark
1997 Magazine “Guayampopo” Interview by: Armando Herrera, San
1998 The Spanish American Quixote, Don Quixote de la Mancha
Estampa Ediciones, Centro de Estudios Cervantes, Madrid
1995 Liv I billeder, Fra Samtidskunst Guatemala
1991 Central American Magazine "Panorama" Published by ICAN
article by Lucrecia Méndez de Penedo