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Work Samples

irladen collection

irladen
Looks featured in irladen's 2022–2023 collection

OL IRL (online, in real life) sweater and sunset skirt

OL IRL
Hand-knit sweater with painted muslin skirt, 2022.

FACE TO FACE

F2F coat
Hand-knit coat, 2021

OL IRL (online, in real life) apron

OL IRL
Painted apron with handmade resin accessories, 2022.

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About Chloe

Carroll County

Chloe Irla's picture
Chloe Irla grew up outside of Richmond, VA but moved around a lot as a teenager. She attended McDaniel College before receiving an MFA from the Mount Royal School of Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has exhibited nationally and in Sofia, Bulgaria. Chloe has been a resident artist at the Vermont Studio Center and the Wassaic Project. As an educator, she has taught studio art courses at MICA and the University of Maine at Farmington and is currently an Assistant Professor of... more

irladen

irladen is the design studio of artist, educator, and aspiring Master Gardener, Chloe Irla. Inspired by the awe and abundance of each growing season, irladen produces limited edition collections of designs including paintings, books, clothing, accessories, games, and home goods. Each piece in the collection documents a story of irladen's home or garden. As the seasons change, fresh inspiration blooms and new designs will be released.

  • Garden Cape

    Garden Cape
    Painted muslin cape featuring my perennial and vegetable garden, 2022
  • Backyard Cape

    Backyard cape
    Painted muslin cape with terracotta medallion, inspired by my backyard during summer 2022
  • Pattern Sample Book

    sample book
    Handmade wallpaper sample book featuring 26 unique patterns, 12 x 24 inches, 2022
  • Bee BalmerJacket

    Bee jacket
    Featuring a busy bee on dewey milkweed in the garden during summer 2022
  • A Good Mother Can Do Anything Game

    Mother game
    If you haven’t read The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan, close this tab, head to your local independent bookstore, and purchase a copy. A notable phrase (and theme) in the novel is that a good mother can do anything. But we know that they can’t, and the notion of a good mother doing it all is unrealistic. This board game is a metaphor for parenting–there are no rules, and no one wins. The game mat is digitally printed onto fabric and the game pieces are painted terracotta letterforms. A zippered pouch holds all the parts together.
  • Mom News! signs

    Mom News
    Painted terracotta, set of four. Each sign is roughly 6 x 8 inches, 2022
  • Goose shirt and accessories

    Goose tee
    Handmade terracotta goose stud earrings and necklace with painted goose collar t-shirt, 2022
  • Grounded by Things that Fly

    Book
    Side 1 of a handmade accordion book, 2022, 3 x 18 inches
  • Goose Pot Bag

    Goose bag
    Handknit crossbody bag, 2022
  • Ceramic House Purse

    House purse
    Painted terracotta beads inspired by the garden during summer 2022

Home Work

This body of work is about maternal exhaustion, both my own and the broader experience of mothers and parents during the pandemic. But parental exhaustion was around before the pandemic thanks in part to the total market failure that is affordable child care and the expectation of women and mothers to “do it all” in both their home and work life. The early days of the pandemic, when everything shut down, suddenly made parents realize how important teachers are to caring for their children. But that appreciation for parents hasn’t been reciprocated, as parents such as myself were forced to juggle full time work with full time caregiving, all the while stressing about protecting our kids from a novel, deadly virus. I was fortunate to have the option of teaching from home and am fortunate to have a partner, unlike many others who dropped out of the workforce to care for their children or who don’t have a partner to help them. I simply don’t know how they did it. I began to track my time teaching and working from home, time spent monitoring my daughter’s virtual kindergarten, time doing chores and attending to matters at home.  I began collecting newspaper headlines that related to my own experience. The work in this show includes some of those headlines. For the first time in my life, I was so exhausted of using a computer after the spring 2021 semester that I returned to knitting as a medium that could occupy my hands. While creating this work, I imagined—although this isn’t so much of a stretch—a mother largely confined to her home, creating works of protest out of objects and materials around the house, such as bed sheets and blankets. She installs these works both inside and outside of the home as a call to action for change, help, flexibility, anything to make her feel seen. Then, she begins wearing these messages on her body. She translates her lived experiences into clothing—physical manifestations of the invisible weight and stress of her experience. 

Home Work: 100 days of fall 2020

Home Work is a multidisciplinary design project that presents the overwhelming nature of the invisible labor of trying to maintain both professional and personal obligations during a global pandemic. Since fall 2020, I've been creating design projects about my time teaching, working, and parenting from home. My worlds merged more than I would have liked them to during that time. I’ve created data visualizations that illustrate the overlap of my work time, time spent with my daughter, time spent making dinner and doing laundry, work meeting times, and my daughter’s virtual kindergarten time. I began knitting newspaper headlines that I bookmarked about the struggles of working mothers throughout the pandemic. Knitting is often associated with "women's work" and due to my own computer fatigue, I embraced the medium to begin creating large, wall-mounted pieces. I began creating typographic wearables like necklaces, scarves, and shawls that use terms that entered into our daily vernacular over the past year like VIP PARENT, WFHM (work from home mom), FACE-TO-FACE, LANGUISHING, and ZOOM. I designed posters and bumper stickers that simultaneously celebrate and remind working parents of their home, work, and life struggles. I was inspired by Joseph Beuys' Suit, fashion design brand Naomi Nomi, and Icelandic textile designer Yruari. My design choices were influenced by the typography in my neighborhood (which I got to know very well through multiple daily walks throughout the pandemic) and posts on Instagram from advertisers who, thanks to Instagram's powerful algorithms, identified me as a mother and thus promoted kitschy products to my demographic. With my wearables, I'm responding to the stereotype and "celebration" of tired, alcohol-dependent mothers through merchandise such as wine glasses or keychains in an attempt to make visible the trauma of trying to "do it all" while stuck at home. 

Snowballtimore Paintings

Acrylic paintings based on photographs taken of snowball stands throughout the Baltimore-metro area. This is an ongoing series that started in spring 2020.

Snowballtimore

This project began in the summer of 2016 when I visited over a dozen local snowball stands in Baltimore including Walther Gardens (the oldest snowball stand in the country!), One Sweet Moment, Elizabeth & Ziggy’s, Sensational Snowballs, and Summer Delights. I documented the architecture of each snowball stand in the early morning before the stand opened for the day. I then returned to the stand to order what I considered the most unique snowball flavor on the menu and photographed the snowball. I illustrated a map of the locations of each stand and assembled the photographs and map into a small zine (booklet). Each stand has its pros and cons: for example, Elizabeth & Ziggy's has the best ice, but Sensational Snowballs has the best marshmallow. I highlight these traits in posters I’ve been designing since that first summer doing research. My goal with this project is to establish Snowballtimore as an authority and archive for this summer Baltimore tradition and to publicly “certify” city snowball stands as being recognized by this project. ​ The news in Baltimore is often bleak, especially in the summer when crime rates seem to rise. I hope to promote this positive, community-engaged practice of going to an independently owned, small business establishment and spending time bonding with community members while cooling off with sugary, shaved ice and gooey marshmallow in a styrofoam cup.  ​

Year One

From January 18, 2015 to January 18, 2016, I collected data about my daughter's first year of life and created digital, timeline-like drawings about her daily schedule. I tracked the times of each nursing session, pumping session, nightly sleep and morning wake-up, daytime nap, diaper, bath, bottle, and solid food acceptance. I began the project with hand-dyeing samples of wool, scanning the samples and adjusting them into digital files, and then arranging the “tiles” into blanket-like digital compositions.

Irene on Fridays

Irene on Fridays is an in-progress series of paintings based on a photograph of myself and my late grandmother. More to come...

  • Irene I

    Acrylic, graphite, Contact paper on wood panel, 16 x 16 inches, 2019
  • Irene II

    Acrylic, Contact paper, grip tape on wood panel, 16 x 16 inches, 2019
  • Irene III

    Acrylic, Contact paper on wood panel, 16 x 16 inches, 2019
  • Irene IV

    Acrylic, graphite, Contact paper on wood panel, 16 x 16 inches, 2019
  • Irene V

    Acrylic, graphite, Contact paper on wood panel, 8 x 10 inches, 2019
  • Irene VIII

    Tempura, acrylic, Contact paper, grip tape, graphite on wood panel, 24 x 24 inches, 2019
  • Irene IX

    Tempura and acrylic on wood panel, 20 x 30 inches, 2019

Pizza Party Twister

Pizza Party Twister occurred during the Field Day exhibition at Artscape 2014 in Baltimore, MD and has also been included in the group exhibition, "Subversive Play: Artists Challenging Mechanisms of Control," at Structura Gallery in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The official Twister rules state that Twister is “the perfect fun starter for every party.” I agree with this statement but believe that playing Twister on a giant, delicious looking pizza is a more effective way of beginning what one hopes will be a fun, friendly gathering.

The object of the game is simple: to outmaneuver all other opponents in placing one’s hands and feet on different types of pizza toppings (mushrooms, pepperoni, basil, and olives) as directed by the spinner. Players may participate as individuals or as teams. If one person on a team falls or touches an elbow or a knee to the pizza surface, the entire team loses–this is serious pizza stuff. The referee will use a spinner to determine on which topping participants should place their hands or feet. Players must remove their shoes to participate. Whenever one player falls or allows an elbow or knee to touch the pizza, that player is out and the game continues until only one participant stands victorious. The winner is awarded a handmade ceramic golden pizza slice and is dubbed a Pizza Twisting Legend.

The set­-up of the game includes a large circular vinyl mat resembling a pizza that rests on top of Astroturf carpeting to give the game an authentic backyard feel. This is also known as the Pizzarena. Signage includes information about the game’s schedule.

Pizza Party Twister is a means of bringing out the competitive spirit of participants, allowing one to flex their yoga and Pilates muscles while simultaneously inducing the urge to satisfy a craving for hot, delicious pizza.

The Hunter and the Hunted: Made to Measure

This chapter of my Blaze Breakers series began with an exploration of the semiotics of hunting textiles, particularly camouflage patterns. The somewhat moronic juxtaposition of invisibility (camouflage) and visibility (blaze orange) within hunting textiles is fascinating to me: the hunter must wear blaze orange to communicate their presence to other hunters (I’m not a bear.), yet also wear camouflage as a cloaking device to blend in with their surrounding landscape. “The hunter” and “the hunted” in these works can be interpreted metaphorically to communicate general themes such as in/visibility, dis/appearance, and honesty: camouflage is an illusion, a visible lie, so is blaze orange truthful?

The Hunter and The Hunted: Made to Measure presents a lexicon of essential elements and principles that establish the foundation of The Hunter and The Hunted series. The elements and principles of The Hunter and The Hunted are light, warmth, surface, measurement, visibility, organization, transformation, honesty, history, and time. Most of the projects included in the exhibition at McDaniel College were created specifically for the Rice Gallery and are grounded in both institutional and personal memories: I was a McDaniel College student from 2005–2007 and am currently a full-time faculty member. The space that is now the Rice Gallery served as the College’s library from 1909–1961, and for the duration of this exhibition, serves as a library for this body of work. I felt it important to present the building blocks of The Hunter and The Hunted series in an academic setting instilled with its own foundational elements: the seven liberal arts.

  • HH: Light

    Installation view at McDaniel College, September 2018. The exhibition included a site-specific installation in the gallery windows made from Contact paper and cellophane.
  • Lies Above / Lies Hier

    The placement of this work in the gallery references the stained glass window ceiling above. The ceiling is a replica of the original stained glass piece, which currently lives in Hoover Library’s Board Room. “Lies hier” in German, a language I studied for 5 years, translates to “Read here,” a reference to the Rice Gallery’s past use as the College’s library.
  • Cascading Warmth

    Cascading Warmth Mylar blankets 84 x 56 inches 2018
  • HH: Outfitter

    HH: Outfitter Canvas, embroidery, fishing lures 60 x 28 inches 2018
  • HH: Revelation

    HH: Revelation Bleach on denim, cotton fringe, dyed canvas 2018
  • HH: Topography

    HH: Topography Wool, steel wool, chicken wire, birch wood, Astroturf, yarn 2018
  • HH: Storage

    Sewn canvas with grommets, 2018
  • HH: Trophy Quilt

    HH: Trophy Quilt Quilt composed of sewn camoflage and blaze orange hunting textile panels. 17 x 6 ft 2018

Connect with Chloe

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Chloe's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.