Neal Palmer was born in London in 1968 and studied at
Trent University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with
Honours. Palmer has lived and worked in the United Kingdom,
Australia and New Zealand.
Palmer's contemporaries and the influences he garnered at art
school set the tone for his painterly practice and his particular
desire for experimentation. His work evolved from painting to
printmaking and then to sculptural installation before diversifying
further through employment as a prop maker and scenic artist in
film and TV. Working as a puppet coordinator on the set of
Spitting Image led Palmer to meet his wife and to embark
on a path that saw him move to New Zealand in 1998, where he began
painting and exhibiting in a full-time capacity.
As a painter, Palmer's concerns revolve around an
exploration of the visual language and natural environment of his
adopted country, combined with a strong desire to position his work
in a history of painting that takes its origins from European
Despite various shifts in his work and circumstances, he has
been consistently interested in blending visual languages and
exploring how aspects of colour, texture, pattern and abstract
forms inform each other. Of late, Palmer's particular focus has
been to develop work that uses the illusion of a photographic
'depth of field' to allow images to slip between pictorialism and
abstraction. Palmer's process creates a visual tension between the
painting's surface and the illusion of space that is most evident
in his large scale work, where the subject is scaled up to such a
point that it suggests an existence beyond the physical bounds of
the picture plane.
As Palmer has argued of his work. "I want my paintings to relate
on as many levels as possible but with an overriding search for
quality of mark-making that lifts the painting beyond the material
world. It is this that drives me to paint."