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Conversations with iconic people


Margaret Lawlor-Bartlett

“There was something beautiful and I wasn’t making it beautiful, I just wasn’t up to it. So I decided to paint ugly things and expose the beauty in the truth of them”

Preview / 00:01:19

Full Episode / 00:53:28

In This Episode

Riemke Ensing interviews her friend the artist Margaret Lawlor-Bartlett QSM.  The conversation takes in Margaret’s early life and her discovery of painting, her experiences studying at Elam, attending art schools in Paris, the ideas that inform her work and her role as a founding member of VAANA (Visual Artists Against Nuclear Arms) of which she is still greatly involved.

You can view some of Margaret's work by clicking on the 'Supporting Files' to the left:


The Peace and War Triptych (overall dimension 1220mm x 2499mm), was commissioned by Rotorua Museum for their 2003 Invitation show "Pohutukawa" and was a collaboration between Margaret Lawlor Bartlett and Riemke Ensing:

"The lines in the magnificent poem "Te Maunga Tapu" which Riemke wrote for me at my Tarawera studio. These lines were the titles for and the inspiration of  the three panels".

Panel 1 of Triptych "Peace and War."   "In the House of the Ancestors R.E."    2003   1220 x 833mm   Acrylic on canvas.
Panel 2 of Triptych "Peaceand War "   "The Heart's Dark Contour R.E."   2003    1220 x 833mm  Acrylic on canvas
Panel 3 of Triptych "Peace and War"   "Beats its Pattern of Fire R.E."   2003     1220 x 833mm  Acrylic on canvas