Irene Manion

Irene has been a practising artist for over 30 years. She has combined a full-time teaching career with her own personal exhibition program. Her initial training was in the Fine Arts at Sydney University from where she embarked on a career of full time teaching in state secondary schools, breaking from this for 6 years when she had a family. Irene has always been committed to combining her career with her artistic practice, both feeding off each other. An early member of the Australian Textile and Design Associaton, (formerly the Batik Association) and the Crafts Council of NSW, Irene found that she was drawn to expressing her ideas through the medium of textiles. Early successes included a solo exhibition of her batik landscapes at the Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Gallery, having slides of her work displayed at the First State ’88 exhibition at Darling Harbour alongside Australia’s top landscape artists. Her work was selected for the Tamworth Fibre Biennial in 1992. In 1989 Irene was selected along with 6 other Australian textile artists to exhibit her work in an exhibition that toured South East Asia and which was commissioned by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Irene’s association with Helen Lancaster started via a series of exhibitions of contemporary textiles that Helen curated for the Fairfield Museum and Art Gallery from around 2002 through to 2011. It was during this period that her current techniques were developed and have evolved into her current style. In more recent times, Irene has continued exhibiting her work in various group exhibitions, the most notable of which have been at the Barometer Gallery in Sydney. She was also a feature artist at last year’s Colac CrossXpollination exhibiton. In 2006 her textile costume was a finalist in the New Zealand World of Wearable Art Awards, appearing on the catwalk and in subsequent video publications of the event. Irene’s work has been featured in numerous publications, mostly in the Australian Textile Fibre Forum magazine over the past decade. Now that Irene has retired from teaching, she has embarked on a more extensive exhibition program, working full-time on this aspect of her career.