Comments from the book »Bernd Pöppelmann« by Claus Rabba
Pöppelmann´s understanding of and respect for animals, and his fascination with the wondrous complexity and diversity of the natural world, are themes that run through his work. He captures not only the feathered spirit of a bird, but also the strength of a gnarled tree, the delicate beauty of a fragile blossom - and the depth of the landscapes that he has re-created on his canvas. He shares with us his sense of delight in the varied, always fascinating life forms of our planet.
Jane Goodall PhD, DBE; Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace
Bernd Pöppelmann brings to our attention the compelling contemporary concern of the human´s relationship with nature.
Pöppelmann´s work forces us to look at nature and humans in juxtaposition. Homo
sapiens is the one animal which can be found in every corner of the planet. What is more serious is that human activities affect virtually every living thing on land and in the air and in the sea. In almost every case the effect has been negative if not catastrophic. In the last few decades numerous authors and documentary film makers have pointed to this devastating relationship between mankind and nature. However, very few painters have ventured into this domain. One remarkable exception is Bernd Pöppelmann.
Robert Bateman, Canada, August, 6. 2009
….but there is more. Feeling a need to express his dismay at the degradation of nature in our times he has undertaken excursions down paths that have led him away from the confines of realis imagery. Take his „Mutter Erde“ Series e.g., in which different species of animals, hunters and the hunted, are gathered in unspecified surroundings, in some imaginary Garden of Eden.
„Hasenland“ and „Pressebericht“ both comment on the place of nature in western society; nature shrinks alarmingly, we read endless reports about threatened species and habitat loss in the press, until ultimately, we could well find wild nature reduced to what he presents us with „Museumskäfer“: the living animal reduced to its empty husk, captured in time on pin.
Pöppelmann chooses to not present us with shocking images of death and decay. Even here he still wants us to see the glory of nature´s itricacies, as if he really cannot believe in a bleak, final demise of nature.
Another remarkable series of drawings and paintings is about urban expansion destroying an area Pöppelmann knews well. The drawings remind me of photographs of No Man´s Land at the western front during the Great War, they are bleak and desolate. The oils also show a torn-up land as well as the „erarth-devouring“ machines that brought about this devastation, yet, in a corner, living nature manifests itself in the shape of a couple of small birds. It is as if he is telling us: there is always hope.
Robin d´Arcy Shillcock, Autor, Artist and Curator of exhibitions in Holland, Norway and France
“In the paintings like for example “Ark” or “Traces” the tension between live on our planet on the one side and the potential threat on the other side are shown symbolically. The work of Bernd Pöppelmann expresses strong emotion, which combines humans and the environment. A close emotional, yes even an intuitive relationship can be felt, which gives hope for the future, and the fragile life partnerships of our planet will be kept for next generations.”
Walter Bednarek, Biologist and Author