Excerpt from opening speech by Edla Colsman at a private art garden exhibition, May 2, 2004
...Ms Poeplau lives in Cologne...she gets inspiration from discarded and useless things. She collects items that are washed ashore, refuse, and lost things and manipulates them into new meanings by creating pictures that exude a certain aesthetic charm. Other than Schwitters and Picasso, she leaves the things their own characteristics. A piece of barbed wire retains its nasty pokiness and a pitchfork still reminds one of its former purpose. But now, these items revive to new meanings and fill a void where they are destined to land. It reminds one a bit of a human community, at marginalized ones who prosper once they find their own identity... The artist has the ability to recognize the effectiveness of color spectrums in her material compositions... Koelner Stadtanzeiger May 6, 2004 to Trash brought into Form.
Excerpt from opening speech 2003 by Helga Schmidt for the exhibition: Metamorphesis of Materials - Found items in Transformation
Metamorphesis means change - from something that exists into something totally new. And it's exactly this fascinating process that happens in Walburga Poeplau's works of art. The found items in themselves couldn't be called beautiful. But they are fit together to an astonishing result of harmonie, beauty, and aesthetic. The principle that "the whole is more than the sum of its parts" fully applies here. There happens quasi a transformation or quantum leap. The profane is changed. It is like the fairy tale 'Rumpelstilzchen', where straw is spun into gold. That's exactly what happens here. Trash or garbage is being transformed with an appealing result. Each individual part is exactly in its rightful place and creates beauty.
Excerpt from opening speech 2003 by Ulrike Pfaff for The Gallery of Worthless Things
About Art pieces and Collages by Walburga Poeplau
When looking at these collages, we expect to find a story, something we can discern with our eyes or understand, something we know or still learn to know. We assume a secret behind these things, designs and shapes made of weathered iron, plastik, and paper, as they present themselves piece by piece and losely placed over and side by side. But it is less the common history than the common fate which connects these found items. At some time, they all were acquired and used by someone. Until they reached the end of their useful life and were then thrown away - into the garbage or the river Rhine. The water then washed out the colors, softenend and straightened the shapes. The river preserved them from oblivion, washed them up at the shore for someone to collect.
Walburga Poeplau gives a theme to the motif by way of a sketch or figur. She plays with the found objects and materials, arranges them to a complete unit or symbol - depending on the version of the viewer. Sometimes she moves all major objects into the foreground, then again she obscurs them and the pictures appear as variations of forms. The results seem to originate in some kind of orderliness or quest to bring these things together, so as to console each other.
The sorted, almost tidy, carefully arranged unity of her art manifests itself as a unique characteristic of the artist and displays a further, not necessarily different, side of her.
During the 1980's the artist started concentrating on photography, especially graffiti, wooden doors, and over and over again exposed interior walls with tiles and wallpaper of houses that were in the process of being demolished. Now, after 20 years, she incorporated these photographic images in some of her recent works. It is the collecting and recycling, the passing of things, that fascinate her.