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Martin Poppelwell

Set for discussion

Study for strip looks like a dinner set on display, but it challenges expectations around such sets. Among the usual pieces – plates, bowls, jugs – are shards, swans, eyeballs, and skulls. Markings and colloquial messages are scrawled across some pieces, and others are broken or flawed.

Through the format of domestic pottery, Martin Poppelwell – potter and visual artist – is investigating language, design, and the role of art. He says that 'strip' in the title refers to a disputed physical zone, like the Gaza Strip. So the dinner set becomes a metaphor for debate. Does art have a role in political discussion? What is the role of text in art? What is the relationship between the object and its decoration?

Works like this have earned Poppelwell a strong reputation as a contemporary potter in New Zealand.

Watch an interview with Martin Poppelwell

This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, 2011–2012.

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List of works

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