An installation in Gallery II, June 1 – July 8, 2022

Jane Irwin at Sivarulrasa Gallery

Artist Talk on Zoom: Wednesday June 15, 7pm-8pm.

From June 1 to July 8, Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present JANE IRWIN: SEEING DOUBLE, an installation of ten works on paper and found objects by Toronto-based artist Jane Irwin. “In 2018, I found a vintage dressmaker’s form”, she states. “At the studio, I put it on like a vest and pressed the wire to take on my body’s shape. I felt that I was wearing a kind of armour.”

The works in this installation are inspired by the female form of the dressmaker’s mannequin and discarded objects such as metal fragments, pieces of fishing net, and feathers that the artist has collected in her studio. Starting with a drawing entitled “My Double” in 2018, the artist created nine new works on paper in 2021 and 2022, themed on warrior, angel, and guardian figures. She sees the creation of “doubles” as a response to the relentless pace of change and feelings of anxiety that the pandemic has heightened in society. Jane Irwin received her BFA in drawing and painting from Mount Allison University, New Brunswick, in 1977. Drawing and painting have always been integral parts of her artistic explorations. In these pieces, natural elements and found objects are often the starting point from which the works evolve.

Artist Statement by Jane Irwin

I often work with found objects: things discarded, ignored or unnoticed. I like that they are no longer useful or practical. They just “are” and I see a kind of beauty in that. I retrieve them and bring them back to my studio to inspire my drawings and paintings.

In 2018, I found a vintage dressmaker’s form. At the studio, I put it on like a vest and pressed the wire to take on my body’s shape. I felt that I was wearing a kind of armour. I then completed a drawing of it, discovering mid-process that the name of the dressmaker’s form is ‘My Double’.

Afterwards,  I remained interested in the female form of the dressmaker’s mannequin. Considering other iconic female ‘doubles’, I used additional found objects (eg. pieces of fishing net, styrofoam packaging, metal fragments, etc.) to invent warrior, angel and guardian figures. These I placed amidst geometric patterns, creating colourful, shallow spaces for the figures to inhabit.

My thought process in developing the Doubles took in memories and personal experiences. The pandemic, throughout which I was working on this project, heightened feelings of anxiety and highlighted social and environmental problems. In the city where I live, relentless construction transforms the landscape. From my window, I can see the towering cranes on the buildings that have replaced my former art studio where I worked for over 25 years.

Everything changes. People get older. Meaning is more difficult to grab hold of. Information is abundant but how do we know if anything is true? The creation of the Doubles was a response to all this.

Artist Talk & Virtual Vernissage: Wednesday June 15, 7:00pm-8:00pm. Artist Jane Irwin will join us live via Zoom from her studio in Toronto to talk about her installation. You can join us from the comfort of your home – email us at [email protected] to register for this Zoom event.

Contact the Gallery: Call 613-256-8033 or email [email protected] for queries about the works below. For availability, pricing information and a video clip, visit our Virtual Gallery under “New Arrivals: Gallery II


Jane Irwin at Sivarulrasa Gallery