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Exhibition from 9 to 25 Feb 2024

Working directly with plant fibres, inks and an array of fine-art papers Iris tries to re-create the wildness of nature in her collaged and relief works. The works have a touch of ‘Art Nouveau’ or 50‘s ‘Hermes’s-like’ floral style which can be seen across her silk, linen, wood, paper and glass pieces all decorated ornamentally with botanic imprints.

Many of the works are montages combining paper cut outs, embossed or printed, as well as directly painted, areas. Although early printmaking influences can be seen in the clean, solid and precise geometry of the work on show this geometry also relates to her close study of the perennials, wild flowers and weeds she chooses as subjects for her art.

Iris is a sensual person creating her pieces intuitively. She has gone through an enduring process to define herself with her chosen medium of art. Today, in her seventies, Iris decided once more to rejuvenate her clean and solid work. Her art pieces today magnify the linking passage between her traditional craft and today's contemporary demands.

Born and raised in the Grison Alps of Switzerland, Iris Hippele moved at the age of 20 to Zurich where she soon met her future husband George and automatically became involved in his family's art printing studio.

Working in the renowned art printing studio in Zurich called “Art Studio Hedy Weber” (Georges Sister) she worked with both local and international artists such as Alois Janak; Michele Meynier; Charles Moser; Luzern; Hans Erni; Lindi, Robert Indermauer; Hansruedi Ambauen; James Turell; Hugo Suter; Markus Müller; Annemarie Balmer and many others. These early exchanges influenced a precise geometric style in her printed works as well as a series of diverse studies pertaining to the field of interpretative and textile arts.

Over the last 40 years, Iris has been accompanied and supported by her husband, George, and together they established a new home and print studio in North Leitrim. Many of the works on show in the exhibition are made in response to the plant life and flora indigenous to the landscapes of the North West and are a testament to the artist’s deep sense of connection to nature and its phyto-therapeutic healing powers (1). This interest in holistic principles is a central focus of her work and guides her search for endogenous growth patterns in nature which she utilises directly in the printmaking process.

(1) ‘medicinal or therapeutic effects of herbal plants or plants in genera’