Irena Podvorac was born in Zagreb in 1977. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb in 2000 with a sculpture major, having been taught by M. Ujević, K. Bošnjak, S. Drinković M. Blažević, and D. Mataušić. In 1999 she spent a term at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (taught by J. Nestor, L. LaRosh, D. Hedman). Since 1998 she has taken part in many individual and group exhibitions in the country and abroad and has created several sculptures that are displayed in public spaces. She has won several prizes and awards for her work. In 2006 a TV-exhibition named 'Skica za portret' was filmed about her work featuring cats for National TV. She is a member of the Croatian art associations HDLU and HZSU. Irena Podvorac was president of the Fine Artists Association of Samobor (ULUS) 2007 -2016.
In my work, I create sculptures that speak about my inner understanding and love of animals. Part of my process, before I begin to work in my studio, is to study my object of interest. I analyze their movement and behavior so I can incorporate it into sculpture. I am not looking only to capture the image of an animal, I explore my subject to find the essence and bring it out in my work. My artwork speaks of intimate themes, our pets. Pets in today's life are our friends and comfort. They keep us from loneliness. Pets are joy and cats are my obsession.
I like using different materials in expressing myself. I am interested in how the usage of different materials makes new possibilities. How to materialize ideas of the same subject in a different way. During research and production of new areas of interest arise and lead to the next body of work. My work is consistent while I use a variety of materials and processes in each project. I am influenced by prehistoric and early 20-century art. Where the emphasis is on shapes in a stylized and minimalistic way.
Sculptures provide a chance to challenge one’s perceptions, perspectives, and assumptions. Creating new cycles of thoughts and associations in the viewer. Inviting the viewer to move into a space of speculation. I rely on our desires for seeking beauty, poetics, and seduction in forms.