TBT: The Artist’s Studio | Peter Madden

Over the next few weeks we will be revisiting some articles from Art All magazine (the print publication this blog has replaced). The ‘Artist’s Studio’ feature took us behind the scenes into the studios of some well known New Zealand artists. If you’re as nosy as us you’ll enjoy seeing the different spaces artists inhabit.

Also, make sure to watch this space as we will be relaunching this series with again shortly…

The Artist’s Studio | Peter Madden
Originally published in Art All, issue 111, winter 2013

Is your studio near to or far from where you live?

Very close. I Live and work at home [ 6 steps is my commute] . I have done now for the last 7 years.The life work balance especially with something as intense as art making, seems best achieved with a studio at home. Some would say that art should be more life like, for me it is  my life.

How much time do you spend there during an average week?

50+ hrs give or take. But its not like a job where you punch a clock . If I am out for a walk , lying in bed with my mind drifting or reading I am making art.

When is your most productive time of day?

All the work is a conversation all the work has an atmosphere . It will take a small bit of time to get into that conversation or to breath the air of the work .Sometimes it’s late morning, sometimes 4pm. I like to get into the studio early like any worker and see what happens .

Do you let other people/artists/dealers into your work space or do you prefer privacy?

I am pretty open and enjoy entertaining other viewers . I always have something to learn from other people and what they see. They confirm my fears and reaffirm my desires.

Do you make better work when the studio is tidy or chaotic?

The studio swings between these two poles and I have a great deal of respect for both forces. Messy when I am in the stages of making work, paper everywhere, magazines all over the floor. Right now it is mildly tidy [tomorrow @10 a curator will be visiting to discuss my participation in an upcoming show].

Do you play music while you work? (If so – what’s on your playlist?)

I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts. Books recently listened to; Blindness by Jose Saramago also The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea. Recent music has been early 20th century folk music from the Folkways Collection.

What are the three essential elements for your ideal studio?

Internet connection , window, desk and chair.

Describe your studio in one word..



Peter Madden in his studio, photo credit: Artists Alliance


Peter Madden in his studio, photo credit: Artists Alliance


Peter Madden in his studio, photo credit: Artists Alliance