"Iren Gule's paintings contemplate the portrait as a genre.
The paradox of the portrait lies in its attempt to capture and to hold that which in essence is transient - human life.
The tension between that which is present and absent hints at a transient state, and reminds us of our own mortality.
The wax casting technique and mask like resemblance further amplifies this state.
The death mask is often seen as the predecessor to the art of portraiture. Gule's paintings bear witness to this original form of portraiture, literally marking the borders between life and death. The eyes in Gule's paintings lay there like the coloured pebbles of antique death masks, thereby receiving an element of "memento mori" - a reminder of life's fleeting mortality."
- Svein Ingvoll Pedersen