Ira Hoffecker’s new painting series involves both organic and geometric forms, each informing the other and exploring the perception of depth.
IRA HOFFECKER IS A GERMAN-CANADIAN PAINTER and printmaker. Relocating from Hamburg to Canada in 2004, now a Canadian citizen, she resides and maintains her art practice in Victoria. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
She holds an MFA degree from Plymouth University in England, a First Class Bachelor (Honours) in Fine Art from the University of Gloucestershire, and a Diploma of Fine Arts from the Vancouver Island School of Art.
“Roller Coaster of Life,” oil & acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 inches, by Ira Hoffecker
Hoffecker has exhibited in solo, duo and group exhibitions in England, Canada and Germany. In 2015, Ira was one of 20 UK graduates whose work was shortlisted for the Graduate Art Prize in London. She won the first prize in the juried Abstract Show 2015 in Vancouver with her painting “Alexanderplatz VIII.” Her “Camp Moschendorf II” painting was shortlisted for the John Moore Painting Prize 2016. Her work was included at the 2016 Liverpool Biennial. Her videos—History as Personal Memory, Meanwhile in LaLaLand and What is Memory?—were invited to several film festivals.
In 2020, plants, flowers and landscapes found their way into my work. Preceding quarantine, my art making practice encompassed the assimilation and reconfiguration of historical urban maps and architectural elements. Loose compositional associations to urban places dominated my paintings. In the spring of 2020, floral and plant studies were a means for me to ameliorate the challenge of isolation. I wholly enjoy the shapes and colours of the flora. I painted vegetation from within my own summer flower garden and plants I encountered during my daily forest walks. Some of these paintings extended beyond individual plant studies and became landscapes.
“The 8th Life Promenade,” oil & acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 inches, by Ira Hoffecker
Significantly, when I started making these organic based works, I began to use oil paint. I found oils to be a fantastic medium to work with when painting plants or landscapes. In the past, when adding multiple layers of urban shapes, I required acrylic to paint with, as drying time for oil paint was prohibitive. Oil paint has its own application regime. Unlike acrylics that can be overlaid with subsequent, independent colours on top of what is first applied to the canvas, working with oil means additional pigments mix with what has been applied first. Pigment blending works well for me when I paint plants.
Further developments in my work occurred through the autumn. I began to develop paintings that involve both organic and geometric forms, where aspects of one form concentration informed the other. These 20 paintings in the exhibition explore the perception of depth. I have started to combine some of my previous colour palettes, trying to push the visual perception of the work. New paintings like “Transit”, “The 8th Life Promenade”, “Free Fall”, “Roller Coaster of Life”, “Passage” and “Corridor” are good examples of the progression of bringing organic shapes into spaces composed of geometric structures.
Transitions runs from May 1-23 at Fortune Gallery, 537 Fisgard Street, 250-383-1552, www.fortunegallery.ca, Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday 12pm-5pm. For more information on the artist and this exhibit, see the artist's website.
* Artist photo by Anahita Ranjbar
“Transit,” oil & acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 inches, by Ira Hoffecker