Penny Stotter is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary printmakers with a distinctive style born of her heritage and love of pattern-making.
Penny Stotter is one of New Zealand’s leading contemporary printmakers with a distinctive style born of her heritage and love of pattern-making. Refreshingly, she is the first to say that she is driven to create works of beauty rather than ‘meaning’, however scratch their aesthetic surface and there is far more there than she readily gives credit.
Stotter’s pride in her homeland was honed during years spent in Europe and Melbourne. When she returned and put down roots on Waiheke Island (off the coast of Auckland) she began to employ motifs of New Zealand’s unique flora and fauna in her work as well as less likely cultural icons such as a vintage Maori doll (named Rua). Her love of the process of pattern-making is obvious in the meticulous arrangement of their shapes into her final compositions. Their abstraction is a nod to her time spent practicing as a graphic designer prior to devoting herself to her art full time and doing justice to her degree from the Ilam School of Fine Arts.
Stotter’s most recent works form a series titled ‘Precious Vessels’. Look closely at these still lifes and you’ll see they are actually far from ‘still’. Teeming with life, the vases hold pukeko mingling with kowhai, kea alongside flax and tui amongst pohutukawa … flora and fauna more precious even than the vessels they adorn. ‘Precious Vessels’ is a natural progression from her earlier ‘Heritage’ series with its similarly delicate and graphic arrangements of native flora and fauna.
As well as developing a number of series of works over past years, Stotter has been highly sought-after to work on a commission basis with corporate and public partners. Recent projects have included designing t-shirts for the Vodafone NZ Music Awards and the Max Foundation for Women. Along the way she has collaborated with clients as diverse as Icebreaker, Air New Zealand, Continental Cup of Soup and Stoneleigh Wines.
Stotter’s works are held in several major public collections and can be found in galleries the length of the country.