Queenstown born in 1969 to immigrant parents, Ira was raised in the remote high country settlement of Glenorchy. Set at the foot of the Southern alps, the head of Lake Wakatipu, it was a childhood of freedom and love of the natural world.
As a teenager Ira always wondered what lay beyond the mountains and small town life. Her Mother moved to Queenstown so Ira and her brother could attend Wakatipu high school.
She wasn't encouraged to take art as she needed to be in classes which would get her a real job, like typing and English. She would hang out in the art class in all her spare time tho. Her Father's health was ailing and Ira started working weekends from the age of 13 contributing to the household income, with her Mother being a housemaid.
All the children in her home left by the age of 16, getting jobs and leaving a strained home life. Ira first attended Southland college when he was 18, returning home each weekend and holidays to helping her Mother take care of her Father, who was dying. He passed away during that year, still she went on to be top in all her subjects and gained a Diploma in Visual Communications.
Them she moved home, to work as a graphic designer and care for her Mother who was then diagnosed with terminal cancer. She gave up working to look after her Mother full time. During this time, Ira got married.
The marriage was full of sadness, other than the birth of her two children, Ryan and Sophie. Ira gained a BFA in Design and worked as a tutor at Christchurch Polytechnic and Natcoll.
Her husband insisted she give up her job and work for him for free, to support his business. The business failed, he disappeared and Ira was left with two young children, no income and no home. Luckily she was awarded a teacher's training scholarship and earned a Post Graduate Diploma in Education.
Ira married again and started looking for teaching work them the Earthquake struck. The trauma of this period of time still affects her. Causing her to become a recluse and fearful. Her marriage lasted 9 years.
Ira now regularly travelling to New York to learn and show with her paint sponsor GOLDEN. She had received a Civic award and NZer of the year, Local Hero Awards for her community work, contributing funds and her time to local schools and charities. Her struggles have given her the strength and insight to help others in need.
Ira now has a shop selling her art and supporting other artists of Canterbury, teaches art and mentors up and coming creatives. Her children have gone on to be an architect and medical professionals.
She is now working on her Masters in Art Practice and running her art business.