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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Paul Dibble

b. 1943, New Zealand

Paul Dibble's works range from small maquettes to monumental public sculptures. They have been observed as a joyful reinterpretation of European Modernism from a Pacific perspective. The highly abstracted and geometricised forms found in his human figures hark back to Matisse and Picasso, while the abstraction and monumentality of his public pieces echo the work of Henry Moore. Following the European tradition, Dibble casts primarily in bronze; however, he also favours COR-TEN steel and gilded gold. By contrast, his subjects are distinctively domestic: narratives from New Zealand and Pacific mythologies and history; 'Kiwi icons' such as sheep; and native flora and fauna, especially birds.

Dibble graduated with Honours from the Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 1967. He is most recognised as the creator of The Southern Stand (2006)—the New Zealand War Memorial in Hyde Park, London.

The exhibition The Gold of the Kowhai (2014) at Gow Langsford Gallery exemplifies Dibble at work. At its heart was a large model of a kowhai flower, 3.38 metres in height and gilded gold. As the flower is a rich source of nectar for birds and small lives, it symbolised the life of the New Zealand bush and marked the show as a massive tribute to such life. On the other hand, the title derives from a 1989 poem by William Pember Reeves—an amateur poet who lamented the destruction of nature. Despite the cheerful congregation of birds and the kowhai flowers, Dibble's forest also revealed that it may be reduced to a thing of the past if not conserved properly. Two bird-man figures invited the viewer to contemplate the forest through the bird's eyes.

Another of Dibble's longstanding interests is the human body. His human figures are made of simple geometric shapes. In the 1990s, Dibble created straight and extended forms that were gestural to the point of surreal. However, since around 2004 they have become soft and curved, as found in the ongoing series 'The Soft Geometrics'.

A major survey exhibition of Dibble's works was organised by the Manawatu Art Gallery, Palmerston North, in 2001. Dibble also became a Member of The New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004. He has an Honorary Doctorate from Massey University and is an Honorary Fellow of the Universal College of Learning (UCOL). Creating both indoor and outdoor works, Dibble has participated in sculpture events such as Sculptures on the Gulf, Waiheke Island, and Sculpture by the Sea, Sydney. His work is in the collection of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Te Manawa, Palmerston North; University of Waikato; and Massey University. In 2000, Dibble established his own bronze foundry in Palmerston North for his large-scale works.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Huia and Kowhai by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleHuia and Kowhai, 2017 bronze and 24 carat gold
Page Blackie Gallery
Huia Pair on Country Church by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleHuia Pair on Country Church, 2017 cast bronze
Page Blackie Gallery
The Gold of the Kowhai Study by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleThe Gold of the Kowhai Study, 2017 bronze and 24 carat gold
Page Blackie Gallery
The Last Huia by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleThe Last Huia, 2017 bronze and 24 carat gold
Page Blackie Gallery
Huia Study by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleHuia Study, 2017 cast bronze
Page Blackie Gallery
Huia with Fallen Kowhai by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleHuia with Fallen Kowhai, 2017 bronze and 24 carat gold
Page Blackie Gallery
Huia Talks to Death by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleHuia Talks to Death, 2017 cast bronze
Page Blackie Gallery
Flying High with Binney Third Study by Paul Dibble contemporary artwork Paul DibbleFlying High with Binney Third Study, 2005 Cast bronze
40 x 72 x 12 cm
Page Blackie Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Dibble, HUIA at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Closed
28 September–23 October 2017 Paul Dibble HUIA Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Landscape 2017 at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Closed
6–31 July 2017 Group Exhibition Landscape 2017 Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Dibble, On the Road Again at Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington
Closed
27 October–20 November 2015 Paul Dibble On the Road Again Page Blackie Gallery, Wellington

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