Like a profound scientific insight, Irene managed to reconfigure my brain. Her art literally opened a new door of perception, an entirely novel way to view a tropical forest.
— William Wcislo
Delicate and laborious, her drawings seem to hesitate before our eyes. They are the corollaries of an iron will to knowledge, but never imposed. They suggest partial truths, attempts that always appear about to change. And simultaneously, they are poems to our perpetual bond with the natural world.
— Adrienne Samos
Early 2015, Irene Kopelmann stayed six weeks at the Smithsonian Bocas del Toro Research Station in Panama. Her aim was to draw mangrove tree roots from two different perspectives: firstly, the structure elevated stilt roots that allow trees to respire oxygen even while their lower roots are submerged; and secondly, the lower part of the roots that remain underwater, including some of the organisms that comprise the ecosystem.