Maja Irene is a Dutch/Australian artist currently based in the Netherlands.
Her work mostly consists of collages and films but she is also involved with performative collaborations.
She is currently working on her second book of poetry and illustrations.
That is the distance between the two countries I grew up in. The distance between my parents, the distance between my two lives. I feel you find a lot of this distance in my work. In everything I make, my films, drawings and collages, there is a certain fragmentation. A feeling of being there and not there at the same time. Most of my works begin with poetry, I write texts and narratives and out of this usually comes some kind of visual.
My collages are suggestive and open to interpretation. Sometimes they are playful, sometimes they express a certain violence with their ripped corners and frayed edges. I use a scalpel as my weapon of choice, cutting up intricate forms that I have drawn with ink and aquarel.
I create disorienting scenes with fluid, organic abstractions and I combine hard lines with soft flesh. When I weave my drawings through the photographs, I love it when the lines flow together and become a new whole. I work on my collage’s intuitively. After collecting all the materials I puzzle for hours with the pieces until I find and create new shapes, I often use thread to hold the pieces together instead of glue, it leaves room for me to change them and add new elements. Because the works are not stuck together they veer away from the 2d, making them more spacial. The works are usually mixed media, I combine my own photography, found footage, watercolor drawings, and paper cutouts to make poetic new visuals.
My latest film “Displacement and Adaptation” is about the feeling of coming from nowhere and everywhere at the same. About living a life of constant and sometimes forced migration.
This is not only my story, for at this present time there are thousands of displaced people around Europe and the world. In Displacement and Adaptation, you see the monotonous footage, of roads, train stations, airports, trees, and powerlines. Places and things that are everywhere and could be anywhere. The black and white images are in constant fluctuation so that you cant get a grip on where you are. The film is accompanied by eerie sounds and a female voice reciting a monolog always starting with the sentence; “Sometimes I awake not knowing where I am”