Moth head

Poppelwell. M. Study for Moth Head (2011) Screenprint and Watercolour

Martin Poppelwell is a New Zealand artist, born in 1969 in Hawkes Bay. One of New Zealand’s leading contemporary artists, Martin studied at Otago University, Dunedin and also Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland completing his studies in 1991. Graphic and illustrative, Martins work incudes a wide range of media, paint, printmaking, oil, water colour, ink, acrylic, enamels, varnish canvas and ceramics. In 1997 Martin studied at Wanganui Polytechnic to obtain a diploma in ceramic design and production and went on to receive the Montana emerging artist award in 1998.

Poppelwell’s work is often a blurred line between sense and nonsense. Drawing is essential in his work, black lines and squiggles in form make up the base of his work, often quotations appear miss-spelt or backwards, suggesting the artist’s work has a hint of sarcasm and/or irony.

Wine glass

Poppelwell. M. Study for Wine Glass (2007) Hand Coloured Screenprint

“I want people to look at my paintings (phrases, clichés) normally first. I find I like going backwards rather than forwards. The whole idea of the progressive artist is to go forward constantly de-stabilise, or to undermine or to subvert, I see my role as something quite different. I go backwards I replace, recreate emptiness where we know meaning exists. By describing an idea in a different way it doesn’t go forward it goes in a different direction than forward. In no respect would I describe myself as a progressive artist. In terms of an artist working in this point of time and this point in history- I choose not to be too sarcastic, or too cynical, or too ironic. I want to work to suggest that’s what we can think. But I also want work to suggest that we can be innocent and we can also be generous, we can also give people something. And I think that is why a lot of work I do connects with people.” – Martin Poppelwell

Double head

Poppelwell. M. Study for Gimmee Head (2009) Hand Coloured Screenprint

I connect with his use of black outlines and print, then filling the space with soft water colour or acrylic. I think Martins work is fun and visually pleasing. I would love to incorporate his work into my own somehow.

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