Paul Dibble

Fantail on ring, 2016

corten steel and cast bronze
2,400 x 1,300 x 1,300 mm

Native birds hold particular resonance in New Zealand culture and have emerged as somewhat emblematic of its national identity. Revered by Māori, their metaphorical significance is remembered in local legends, while contemporary bird imagery commonly represents the country’s unique wildlife and natural environment. Prior to the arrival of Polynesian settlers to Waiheke, the dense bush was a haven for noisy birds. Paul Dibble draws on this history, inserting larger than life native birds back into the landscape.

Fantail on ring captures the characteristics of piwakawaka (fantail). Following Dibble’s practice of combining local culture and Western art history, the bird is balanced on an elegant geometric perch, reminiscent of minimalist sculpture, highlighting how art, design and culture have abstracted from nature.

Paul Dibble

born 1943, Waitakaruru
Lives and works in Palmerston North

Paul Dibble is well known for his interpretations of symbols and imagery from the Pacific and Aotearoa which he often splices with aspects of European art history. He casts his own works and is one of few artists working in bronze in New Zealand, in recent years incorporating elements of corten steel with cast bronze. Dibble’s works often have a lyrical or poetic quality evoked through his abstraction or imaginative simplification of forms. Paul Dibble has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Art at The University of Auckland, an Honorary Doctorate from Massey University and is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. His work is represented in many public collections. Dibble’s Southern Stand war memorial (2006) was unveiled in London’s Hyde Park by HM The Queen. His work is the subject of two monographs The Large Works (Bateman, 2012) and Paul Dibble (Bateman, 2002).

Represented by Gow Langsford Gallery, Auckland