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Ocula ReportShows to see in Hong Kong: The Lowdown19 Oct 2018 : Diana d’Arenberg for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
From Cao Fei's first large-scale institutional exhibition in Asia, to a showing of historical works by Robert Rauschenberg, Ocula contributor Diana d'Arenberg offers her lowdown of shows to see in Hong Kong this autumn. Cao Fei: A hollow in a world too full Tai Kwun Contemporary, 10 Hollywood Rd, Central 8 September 2018–4 January 2019 Following on...
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Ocula ConversationStefanie Hessler, Kostis Stafylakis and Poka-Yio{{document.location.href}}
In February 2007, the Athens Biennale announced its first edition, Destroy Athens, by distributing crumpled golden cards with dates and details among artists and art historians during a conference staged at the Goethe-Institut in Athens, Prayer for (Passive?) Resistance. The project seemed like a performative joke orchestrated by artist Poka-Yio,...
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Ocula ReportFrieze Week 2018: London, Masters and 1-5412 Oct 2018 : Amah-Rose McKnight-Abrams for Ocula{{document.location.href}}
A rush of politics kicked off Frieze Week this year, with a talk between Chelsea Manning and James Bridle organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts at the Royal Institution, three days ahead of the opening of Frieze London, Frieze Masters and 1-54 (4–7 October 2018). The event felt more like a press conference, with attendees seemingly...
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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.

by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017
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