2015 Artist Martin Poppelwell

Napier-based artist Martin Poppelwell is one of New Zealand’s most in-demand artists.

“Portland came from thinking about relationships”, Martin explains. “The large, imposing, colourful lump is certainly the elephant in the room when it comes to talking about immanent death and how we as a community attempt to deal with it”.

2015 Event Print – ‘Portland’

Martin’s studio is ‘plop on top of Bluff Hill’, and he challenges himself to use form from his immediate environment. “From here, I often look to the edges of the Bay, the top-end being Portland Island and Mahia, while at the bottom end is Cape Kidnappers. Within these locations sits a community served largely by horticulture, agriculture, and most significantly, by culture and ideas.”

According to Martin, this artwork emerged from considering the aspects of simply being here. “The title Portland came from the idea of requiring sanctuary or harbour when conditions may be rough, or simply as a means of passage”, he says. A sentiment that also encapsulates the Cranford Hospice environment and mission.

“One would like to think that the artwork resonates with the fact of being present.”

Words by Yvonne Lorkin.