Irene Pagram

Irene works with natural dyes on silk, wool and paper, often to make a ground  for drawing, or a base for hand stitching.

Her current group of works commenced in late 2015, drawing over a dyed ground. Red Box Stor(e)y an artist’s book with graphite drawing over eco- printed paper and reclaimed blanket marked the start of Journeys, a body of work documenting place by gathering leaf litter at specific locales, preparing  an eco-dyed ground with the leaves and drawing the landscape where the plant material was found.

The other pieces in this body of work are Middle Pond, late Winter, Birrarung  an artist’s book with graphite drawing over eco-printed paper and reclaimed blanket, Strathbogie Stor(e)y an artist’s book with graphite drawing over eco-printed paper and reclaimed blanket, Silos a graphite drawing over an eco-printed paper ground, Having a Cuppa with Lizzie in Clunes a graphite drawing over a tea-mordanted eco-print. Such Fragile Shelter, a graphite drawing with petal-pigment dyed silk elements concludes the series.

Irene’s love of textile practice came into renewed focus in 2012 when she bought India Flint’s ECO COLOUR and discovered there was a better way to do natural dyeing than using toxic metal powder mordants and salt fixatives.  This sustainable and eco-friendly method harmonises perfectly with her life-style in the Otways Hinterland. She is an eco-dye convert.

Irene exhibits locally and further afield, featuring hand-stitched art cloths, graphite drawings, framed textiles, eco-printed lengths of pure silk  suitable for garment making, artist’s books and mixed media artwork.

She is currently exhibiting Such Fragile Shelter in the 6th Biennial arc Yinnar Drawing Prize  and was selected to have Saturday Matinee, Admit One  in the recent Libris 2016 Award at the Mackay Regional Art Gallery in far-north Queensland.

She has exhibited at CrossXpollinatioN in Colac where she won the Encouragement Award  in 2016  and was Highly Commended in 2014.  In 2016 at the Red Rock Regional Gallery in Cororooke Irene was the recipient of the Committee’s inaugural Scissors Award for the hand stitched art cloth Leaves, blossoms. Artworks were accepted in 2015 and 2016 for the South West International Women’s Day Art Prize and the Corangamarah Art Prize Con.ceit.

A highlight in 2016 has been working with fellow students (SWtafe Diploma of Visual Arts – Experimental Textiles) Jane Bear and Sue Tate, to create a collaborative three-way wearable art garment BellaDonna Belle for the cut – garments without patterns exhibition in Ballarat. BellaDonna Belle went on to be highly commended the Student Encouragement Prize category at the 2016 Contemporary Textile Award at Buda in Castlemaine.

In 2015 Irene was awarded a six-week residency at Laughing Waters in Eltham which was the catalyst for the current graphite drawings over eco-dyed grounds, and she was a finalist in the Nillumbik Prize with Murmuration.

Irene teaches handmade recycled papermaking to small groups, and produces small DIY kits suitable for discovering eco-printing at home.

Mixed media, eco-printing, natural dyes and textile art-making
Having a love affair with eucalyptus leaves in the dye pot!

Contact Details

Contact Name: Irene Pagram

Email address: smiddygram (at) fastmail (dot) fm


Colac, Victoria, Australia

Irene Pagram

Colac, Victoria, Australia

Mixed media, eco-printing, natural dyes and textile art-making

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Membership of Organisations

Regional Arts Victoria

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