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Fran Dibble - A Selection of Paintings and Sculpture

Fran Dibble - A Selection of Paintings and Sculpture

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  • Fri 27 May ’16, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Sat 28 May ’16, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Sun 29 May ’16, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Mon 30 May ’16, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • Tue 31 May ’16, 11:00am – 3:00pm
  • View all sessions


Zimmerman Art Gallery, 329 Main Street, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

For the month of May, Zimmerman Art Gallery is featuring selected paintings and sculpture by Palmerston North artist, Fran Dibble.

The show at Zimmerman complements Dibble’s exhibition of larger scale works currently on display at Te Manawa (Museum of Art Science and History). Two shows running at the same time make this month a prime opportunity to see the artist’s works in two distinct sizes and settings.

Artist's statement:
“Three strands of art practice are represented at Zimmerman in the month of May 2016.

The book works sprang from not just a love of reading but from a love of the objects themselves – the bindings and typeface, linen covers, the pictures, even the thickness of the paper and their own particular smell – none of which is present in the poor substitute of electronic versions. Using vintage books with small bronze modelling added onto their tops I began to create these small tributes. This way of working had the added interest of being driven in direction by the ‘find’.

Later I began to make my own bronze books, some copies of real ones (eg; “A Short History of the English People Vol IV”), the inspired book deemed too beautiful to relinquish, or else I entirely make them up. This enables more complex narrative to be presented.

In "Vanitas" the odd collection of books shows how death has been an ongoing preoccupation, with books as different as catalogues on historic and contemporary artwork sharing the pile with one of the most famous of self-help books “On Death and Dying” by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. "Picasso Flowers" uses a rough copy of one of Picasso’s vase and flower sculptures from the 1950s haphazardly placed on the artist’s biography. They are casually positioned the way things are stacked and muddled in domestic environments.

The paintings in this show are overspill from the Te Manawa exhibition “A Beautiful Destruction” - part of the same series, some are early examples in the development of the show. They depict moody skies over seas positioned against more abstract panels, enjoying the spectacle of nature in all its fury and splendour.

The last strand are watercolours that represent a more intimate leisurely artistic study, the works often painted in the evenings away from the artist’s studio – coffee table as working bench, the living room floor as viewing space. Subjects chosen in these watercolour works are often an excuse to lay down brushstrokes and play with colour. Here they are examples that are not landscapes but pieces of gardens; cropped squares in what we imagine might be a never ending jungle, for these aren’t formal arrays but gardens grown in a more disorderly fashion. Likewise the paintwork is not overly particular about accuracy, but intentionally free and exploratory.”

The exhibition of Fran Dibble’s paintings and sculpture at Zimmerman Art Gallery runs until 31 May 2016.

Brief artist bio

Fran Dibble holds a BSc in Biochemistry and Botany, a MSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and a BA in Philosophy. In 2007 Dibble was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for services to art, and in 2011 was awarded a fellowship at Palmerston North’s UCOL (Universal College of Education). Fran Dibble lives and works in Palmerston North with her husband, bronze sculptor Dr Paul Dibble.

Images from this month’s exhibition (all works by Fran Dibble):
"The big hat", vintage book and cast bronze, 130 x 185 x 135 mm
"Vanitas", cast bronze, 250 x 270 x 190 mm
"Following Clouds", paint on board and 24 carat gold gilding, 270 x 360 mm
"Looking into a section of the garden", watercolour and mixed media, 270 x 390 mm
"Views far and close", watercolour, 270 x 390 mm

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