His formal art training involved a series of courses at Auckland Technical Institute, in Jewelry Making, Graphics and Illustration, Photography and Landscape Design. He has also had experience in bronze casting and etching. Rudy currently works with a multitude of media, employing decoupage techniques, collage, specialised paint finishes, metallised effects and patinas, along with sculpted metal, and found objects. His work challenges our perceptions, is often humourous and ambiguous, he integrates media in unusual and exciting ways with the skill of an alchemist.
Recycled materials are often used although the context is altered giving them a new meaning. He uses wrapping and pleating as a rhythmic expression to create textural overlays on the sculptural form. Van der Pol explains, “often materials are rendered unrecognizable with the surface use of pigments and patinas in order to challenge perceptions”. Ultimately, Van der Pol concerns himself with form and process in his art. A piece may be representational as with the boat form, referencing his own personal history but, also may be experienced as a cross-cultural historic emblem. This artist also finds inspiration in nature, and frequently his forms border on abstraction, leaving space for a more personal response by the viewer.