The installations, sculptures and drawings of Irene Kopelman derive from direct observation. She studies landforms, terrain and topography, after which she processes her findings using pencil, gouache, ink or watercolours. She is fascinated by scientific classification systems, in particular by (the impossibility of) capturing elusive natural phenomena in models and categories. Central to this are the dynamics between repetition and deviation.

Travelling is an essential part of realising her work. Kopelman regards her studio as a laboratory: this is where her explorations are prepared and retrospectively processed. Apart from visits to geological and natural history museums, she also regularly participates in scientific expeditions to such inhospitable locations as the Antarctic and the White Desert in Egypt. Her works serve as log-books of her travels.