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If things are ‘over’, it’s a good time to do it isn’t it? I’ve always thought it was more important to stand apart from what was fashionable. You’ve got to think for yourself

Stanley Palmer, printmaker and painter, is interviewed by Riemke Ensing, poet, about his lifetime of ‘reassembling landscapes’.

Printmaker and painter Stanley Palmer has been exhibiting since 1958 and worked as a full-time artist since 1969. Well-known for his bamboo engravings of the 1960s and the signature fractured pictorial space of his early work, Palmer has always been experimental with his production techniques, driven by an abiding interest in the internal logic and process of art-making.

While most of Palmer’s works have specific locations, his vision has always been deeply personal and his forms increasingly near-abstract. Conservation of New Zealand’s coastline and off-shore islands has been one of his concerns for many years and he often spends long periods of time working in remote areas of the country; areas that to him represent a kind of authenticity of mankind itself. Throughout his work Palmer asserts the potency of the island landscape as a metaphor for ourselves, suggesting it “reflects our own experiences and perceptions, as well as the inherent fragility and isolation of living in a country surrounded by a vast ocean.”

By looking closely at his environment, Palmer teaches us to also look at it, and by extension, at ourselves: “I am interested in a lot of things at the end where the road peters out, the edge between the civilized and where we have no control. . . the oceans and the sky.” Isabel Haarhaus (Melanie Roger Gallery)

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