Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Life of Visionary Collage, Ann Irwin




Ann Irwin, by all accounts, was a woman who chose to live, love, and create art, under the most challenging circumstances. She battled chronic lung disease and other health issues, but worked on her art constantly. Even towards the end of her battle, she managed, with a 54 foot long cord to her oxygen supply, to still work in her beloved garden, and create eloquent colleges and quilts in her basement studio. According to her husband, Roy, she utilized old books, fabric, and found objects. "Ann created a large body of art (over 400 pieces) rich in a deep personal mythology of whimsical images of birds, houses, trees, and flowers." She often incorporated the printed word in her works, "not to be read, rather for tonality". "She asked her paper, foil, and twigs to function as a silent prayer, to anchor the dreamy images, to keep them real and material." Ann's work was shown in both museum settings and regional shows. I present here, three wonderful examples of her work. The piece I call "Starry Night with Matzoh" is one of my favorites. I thank Roy Zipris, Ann's husband, for bringing her extraordinary work to my attention. I recently visited the Museum of Modern Art to see collages and constructions. Ann Irwin's work would have been a perfect fit. Click on the title of this blog and you will come to a flickr page of more images. Enjoy!

5 comments:

Magpie Sue said...

I've only recently discovered your blog; have to say that I appreciate your bringing wonderful works of outsider and visionary art to the public. I especially like Ann's crowned heart shown in this post. How big (or small) are these pieces?

Beverly Kaye said...

I'm so pleased you enjoy these works! The one you like, with the crown, is titled "Heart of a Saint" and is 8"x10". That was a common size Ann worked with, but some in the book are smaller and a few are much larger. Thanks for taking a look, Sue!

Kathy said...

Oh Beverly! What a blessing and an inspiration to hear her story and see her beautiful artwork. Her work and life give me courage and encouragement. Thank you for sharing her with us!!! My day has been truly enriched by this!!

Ron Dowd said...

These are really nice works, thank you Beverly

libby said...

Hi, Beverly, I'm so glad to see Ann's work get a mention. And she really was a oner! I know you follow outsider art, and so her mention makes total sense in your wonderful blog.