Through images of our coastlines, themes of colonisation, concerns of conservation and how we exist and interact with the landscape, Stanley Palmer’s iconic paintings and unique prints capture a quintessential New Zealand. His images of the West Coast are among his most recognised works, stylised outlines of nikau palms against a typically New Zealand windswept coastline, a nod to our untamed country. Palmer’s distinctive expressions of the New Zealand landscape are reminiscent, suggesting your own recollections, old photographs or a hint of times past. His works appeal to his audience’s own memories. He has developed an individual style that encapsulates the heart and hues of our coastlines, rural landscapes and native foliage. In terms of his production techniques, Palmer has always been experimental. He is well known for his bamboo engravings of the 1960s, which he achieved through a unique process of engraving and lithography onto a bamboo plate, instead of the commonly used metal. These earlier prints are characteristic of their production and often feature a fractured picture plane.
Born in the Coromandel in 1936, Palmer studied at Dunedin Technical College during the late 1950s. He began exhibiting in 1958 and has been working as a full-time artist since 1969, after he finished teaching art in Auckland. Palmer now lives and works in Mt Eden, Auckland. He has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and Australia. Many of his works are part of significant public and private collections including, Auckland Art Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa, and the Christchurch Art Gallery.