Irene Christensen works intuitively, engaging her emotions and memory - employing the fullest range of life possible. She approaches the work as streams of consciousness to actualize in symbols an alternative world allowing dream and reality to meet. Traveling from ancient time to the present, the unexplainable is transformed, the beginning and the end meet.
Her Concertina Book series documents symbolic tellings of her cognitive and psychological perception in accordion book format. In these shaped and narrow drawings, she found a framework that fits her expressive nature.
Concertina books are one long sheet of fine paper bound between two hard covers and folded accordion style.
The myriad personal iconographic structures depicted in the concertina books would seem to be inspired by a coral reef ecosystem. But in reality, Christensen began drawing and painting these forms prior to viewing them first hand. Snorkeling later in the Caribbean and Thailand was a revelation and confirmation for her. What she saw there synchronized perfectly with her artistic sensibility and love for the strange and surreal. It seemed natural to utilize these motifs to express her experiences in New York City, growing up surrounded by shimmering water in Norway, along with other places she’s been and seen and life in general.