Margaret Estall @ 1b Ponsonby

Margaret, entering your studio was a real treat. Your work is immaculate considering your chosen tools are notably messy! How do you manage this?

Preparation is the key, if you want a clean finish you can’t just charge in and start making. As my works are large I spend a day cleaning, masking and clearing the area before starting a work . I find this is a good way  to think though the work before I get started

Before you’ve even made a mark it seems that the preparation is part of the work – the choice of paper etc, can you tell us about this? When does the work ‘begin’?

A new drawing now seems to start before I have finished the last work. This flow between  works helps keep me excited and stops the dead spots that can develop when a work is finished. I also find I’m constantly thinking though subject,content,light and especially the ground as paper colour and weight can really effect the finished work. If I am changing paper I will do a series of experiments before committing to using a new stock.

How do you prefer your work to be displayed for viewing?

Being large charcoal works they are stabilized when framed and look great floated so you can appreciate the paper. I Recently installed one of my drawings in an exceptionally large acrylic box, the weight of the 600 gram paper and the depth of the charcoal , worked well with the visual weightlessness of the acrylic.

What’s the best thing about being part of the creative community at 1B Ponsonby Road?

Having a studio that is  part of a creative  community  is new to me and is proving  to be great as you can find yourself engaged  in interesting conversations and encouraged by the practice of those around  you but you can go back into your studio and work on your own stuff and those around seem to respect your need for space .

Lastly, what is the one item you couldn’t live without in the studio?

The thing that I couldn’t do without in my studio is this amazingly practical moulded plastic , retro  , utility storage unit , think it was designed for an architects office, it has a place for holding everything and is always at my side when drawing.