Irene Bollweg - Needoba was born in Bolivia to a Bolivian mother and a German Father. She grew up in a deeply Catholic country torn with revolutions and dictatorships. Due to the dual ethnicities of her parents she was starkly aware of the differences between the two cultures of her parents and grandparents. At 25 years of age she left Bolivia to live in Bagdad, Iraq during the regime of terror of Saddam Hussein and departing due to the war between Iran and Iraq. This had a tremendous impact on her life, where she was alone with two small children having to get out of the Country. She felt the futility of war first-hand.
After Iraq, she lived in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Egypt and Scotland. During her time overseas she had the opportunity to visit many countries around the world. Through this process she found herself feeling like an outsider; dealing with foreign cultural conventions, the obsessions and behaviors of different traditions and the consequences of nationalism. Since then she found it liberating to step out of old surroundings and embrace new cultures. Her idea and philosophy is not to represent the ideology and perfection of any culture in particular, but the chaos of embracing the human race as a whole.
Her sources for making art are situations she has experienced or faces of people she has seen or met in the past or current events like climate change, fires and pollution in the oceans.
Every piece of work is like her life with all its problems, frustrations and happiness. Through the paintings she wants to experience a new freedom, the sense of not belonging anywhere and yet to belong and represent all of us humans as a whole; exceeding all cultural definitions. She embraces the idea of “no traditions, no patriotism, no culture” but the experiences of all cultures, and to rebel against any idea of the “perfect” culture.