Born in Amsterdam during the holocaust, Irene came to Australia at the age of fifteen as one of the great influx of post- World War Two boat people that began the great multicultural development of this country. In her long and varied artistic journey since then, sculpture has always remained her passion. Even during her early career as BBC trained make-up artist working on such classics as the TV series DR WHO, the Hollywood production BLUE LAGOON with Brooke Shields, and the seminal Australian film NEWSFRONT, Irene's on-location collections of found objects became a source of much fascination for cast and crew.
By the mid 1980's she had moved full time into sculpting and painting, teaching at the EORA Aboriginal College for the Visual and Performing Arts. In the Bi-centennial year of 1988, she sculpted the MUSES in consultation with the cartoonist Bruce Petty, painted a section of the Pitt St mural, and brought to life with colour a giant animatronic flying watermelon in the First State '88 Exhibition.. During the '90's Irene pioneered the use of Hebel block as a sculpting material, colouring her works (often in the sinuous curves of native lizards) with natural ochres from her found collection of stones.
From sculpture she moved naturally into mold making and bronze casting. The techniques of mold-making led her to ceramics, and her most recent works develop this strand of her talents.
In celebration of nature, Irene Walls' work promotes the harmonious possibilities of human existence in a world where all living things are treated with universal compassion, and the interweaving of all lives is a constant revelation.