Irene Infantes - London, UK
Irene Infantes use artisanal techniques in silk-screen printing and needle-punch felting to create large scale textiles as wall hangings, shawls, throws and blankets. Irene Infantes work with merino wool producers in Spain, supporting sustainable practise.
Merino sheep, highly prized for their fine wool, have their origins in Spain. Today, due to production costs and water regulations three quarters of the Merino wool produced in Spain is sold to China for processing and from there is sold back to Spanish companies. It’s an illogical and energy-heavy process that also reduces Spanish companies’ creative control over one of their traditional materials.
Created in collaboration with a Merino wool producer in Spain, young Spanish Artist Irene Infantes uses artisanal techniques including silk-screen printing and needle-punch felting to create large scale textiles.
Needle punching is a way of felting, it’s an old fashioned technique. Irene reinvented the process to create something more contemporary whilst applying the same technique. Her process of screen-printing and needle punching can take up to a week of intense work before it is finished. Everything is done by hand, and every piece is different & one-of-a-kind.
When Irene walks the streets of London, she always keeps one eye on the ground to see what might catch her attention. To her artist’s eye, objects can transcend their original purpose with shapes and colours waiting to become abstract forms on beautiful shawls. Before rescuing these objects from the street, Irene captures them in their natural setting with a photograph that becomes the cornerstone of each shawl’s design. Back in her studio, the photo becomes a painting. Sketches follow, colours are tweaked and she plays with the motifs until the ‘aha’ moment.
These unique pieces can be used for different purposes; wall hangings, shawls, throws and blankets. Their softness, elegant style and muted colours make them irresistible, however used.