Imfeld, Irene

Irene Imfeld, Oakland, California, USA

Irene Imfeld's photographs have been shown at solo exhibitions at the Bolinas Museum and the Fresno Art Museum, both in California. She was interviewed about her work in Camera Arts magazine and won awards at the Print Center, Philadelphia, and the Atheneum, La Jolla. Her work is in public and private collections. She is an accomplished digital printer who has worked with textiles, handmade books, and commercial book design in the past. She is co-owner of PHOTO, a gallery in Oakland for the past two years. She is mostly self-taught, having attended numerous photo workshops and also assisted artist Susannah Hays for two years. Irene grew up in a small town in Ohio and currently lives in Berkeley.

My photographic process is both technical and intuitive, and ultimately unimportant. Although I admit that my attraction to photography comes from its peculiar connection to the real world, media is not my message.

Form . . . Time . . . Light . . . natural phenomena are inevitable subjects of photography . . . and the raw material of dreams, of emotion, of consciousness. Growing from an early fascination with landscape, my subject has evolved into natural form, whatever its habitat. I look for traces of the forces of nature over time. To relate my experience as part of the natural world I isolate form, then combine series of related images.

Observing time in the physical world can illuminate a viewer's inner transformational experience. Look beneath the surface. Revealed emotion resonates around and between literal subject matter.

Landscape has had an important historical influence on culture, especially in the American West. In the 21st century, nature’s capacity to be seen through dense layers of popular culture is waning. Current emphasis on new genres, video, advertising, or nostalgia for childish memories, can expose a lack of thoughtful intention.

Sometimes I combine images into traditional book forms. The scale of a book offers an intimate view on the page. I employ a cultural construct, the book, and a cultural practice, photography, as way to link images together, thereby increasing their meaning.


Indie Photobook Library, Washington DC.
Greenburg, Traurig, Houston, TX.
Center for Fine Art Photography, Ft. Collins, co.
Alameda County Collection at Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA.
Kaiser Hospitals, Vallejo, Roseville, and San Leandro, CA.
Brune & Richard LLP, San Francisco, CA.
ExxonMobil Upstream Ventures, Houston, TX.