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As a child, Irwin was intrigued by the movement of the sea and the gradual erosion and dramatic rock formations of the North Cornwall coastline. His collages and paintings reflect his continuing interest in the rhythms and arrangements evident in the natural world. Working with carefully selected materials such as 'shredded, five-ply black cardboard', Irwin simulates the repeated patterns and fluidity of organic form. He explained, 'I am and always have been in thrall to the process of very gradual change.'