Irene F. Whittome was born in Vancouver in 1942. She attended the Vancouver School of Art, studying with Jack Shadbolt. In 1963, she moved to Paris, where she studied with engraver W. Stanley Hayter. After four years, she returned to Montreal and taught at Concordia University. Her works from this period, including prints and mixed media, developed themes related to the eye, boxes, and the unity of found objects with precise yet repeated gestures. Her evolution as an artist has been interdisciplinary, beginning with explorations and creative work in printmaking, painting, and drawing, then moving into the areas of installation in her more recent work through her use of architecture, lighting, and sound. In the autumn of 1997, she was awarded the prestigious Prix du Quebec’s Paul-Emile Borduas prize and is the first woman in ten years to be so distinguished for exemplary achievement in the category representing the visual arts, architecture, crafts, and design. In 2005 she was made an officer of the Order of Canada.