Previous Exhibitions

For June 2024, ZIMMERMAN extends the warmly received exhibition Back to Front, with new works brought out from the back gallery to the front.

The exhibition is a reminder that, behind the front gallery walls, there is a larger gallery out the back, displaying a variety of works by the artists ZIMMERMAN represents.

Here you'll find works by your favourite artists in between feature shows, early pieces, and works fresh from the artists' studios. 

Art work details are beneath the images below - extended exhibition runs until Sunday 30 June 2024 

Paul Dibble: The Proposal study 2 (2019), bronze, 335 x 110 x 190 mm, edition of 10 + AP / The Quest for Immortality (2023), bronze, 440 x 220 x 80 mm, edition of 10 + AP

Cam MunroeLiquid Mind (2014), acrylic & mixed media on canvas, 510 x 970 mm (framed size) 

Anna KorverLife boat with gold tree (2024), African wood, 570 x 100 x 65 mm 

Sebastien JaunasCathedral II (2021), hand forged steel, 1680 x 500 x 480 mm

Matthew SteedmanWoman Vaping (2021), oil on canvas, 500 x 600 mm

Sean Crawford: Urban Chorus (2023), laser cut Corten steel, powdercoat render and electrical wiring, 880 x 360 x 370 mm

Deano Shirriffs: All things small and wonderful (2022), mixed media on board, 400 mm diameter 

Sebastien Jaunas:  Spring III (2022), hand forged steel, 565 x 170 x 200 mm

Kirsty Gardiner: Release (2023), earthenware and mixed media, 600 mm diameter

Dan DibbleThe Guardian (2023), bronze and 24 carat gold gilding, edition of 10 + AP, 740 x 180 x 200 mm 

Paige WilliamsBlue Penguin (2019), acrylic on board, 320 x 270 mm (including frame

Kirsty GardinerLeverage the Negative Space (2024), earthenware and mixed media, 190 mm diameter

Anna KorverBlack facet figure (2024), Corten steel, 1010 x 160 x 160 mm

Kirsty GardinerCeramic moths (2024), ceramic and mixed media - small 110 x 150 mm / medium 130 x 190 mm / large 140 x 220 mm

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For May 2024, ZIMMERMAN presents Back to Front - a selection of art works not previously featured in a front gallery show.

The exhibition is a reminder that, behind the front gallery walls, there is a larger gallery out the back, displaying a variety of works by the artists ZIMMERMAN represents. Here you'll find works by your favourite artists in between feature shows, early pieces, and works fresh from the artists' studios. 

Come take a look this month at some of the works we've brought from the back to the front - and leave enough time to also venture out the back!

Art work details are beneath the images below - exhibition runs until Sunday 2 June 2024 

Andrew MoonThe Temptation of Faust (2023), oil on canvas, 700 x 900 mm

Anna KorverBlack facet wall figure (2024), ebonised wood, 1080 x 100 x 60 mm

Cam MunroeAten (2020), acrylic, composite gold leaf and resin on board with frame, 220 x 150 mm 

Kirsty GardinerCeramic huia pair (male and female) (2024), ceramic, 350 x 140 mm

Paige Williams: Garden Snail (2020), acrylic on board, 550 x 450 mm (including frame)

Sam Dollimore: from the a/part-series (2014), ink on paper, 420 x 595 mm unframed / 720 x 540mm framed 

Dan DibbleUntitled huia figures (2023), bronze and 24 carat gold gilding, edition of 3 + AP (830 x 180mm / 850 x 180mm)  

Ian ChapmanThat lecture when you forget to wash the dishes (2023), acrylic on canvas, 550 x 610 mm / Peacemaker (2023), acrylic on canvas, 760 x 760 mm

Anna KorverBlack facet figure (2024), Corten steel, 1010 x 160 x 160 mm

Kirsty GardinerCeramic moths (2024), ceramic and mixed media - small 110 x 150 mm / medium 130 x 190 mm / large 140 x 220 mm

Paul DibbleHuia on Ring (2023), bronze, 365 x 250 x 280 mm, edition of 10 +AP / Joseph Banks Vase (2003), bronze, 570 x 180 x 150 mm, single edition



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For April 2024, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present "Soft Rock", a selection of mixed media paintings on canvas by Elspeth Shannon

Exhibition runs until Sunday 28 April - come take a look!


Featured paintings (all mixed media on canvas):


Braided Midas (2022), 790 x 790 mm (framed size)

Soft Cactus (2022), 930 x 930 mm (framed size) 

Ocean Butterfly
 (2020), 1050 x 940 mm (framed size) 

Soft Crush
(2024), 760 x 900 mm 

(2023-24), 750 x 900 mm

(2023-24), 900 x 900 mm

(2024), 610 x 550 mm

Potted Bollocks
(2023), 1000 x 1400 mm


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For March 2024, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present a selection of oil paintings on canvas by Taranaki artist, Tony Rumball

Exhibition runs until Sunday 31 March - come take a look!


Featured paintings:


Beautifully Done, oil & ink on canvas, 750 x 1500 mm

Bushfire (panel 1), oil & ink on canvas, 1200 x 900 mm

Cable Car
, oil on canvas, 1200 x 900 mm

Camargue Horses
, oil on canvas, 450 x 350 mm

Caught at Slips #3
, oil & ink on canvas, 570 x 760 mm

In Europe
, oil on canvas, 910 x 1520 mm

In a Cave Painting
, oil & ink on canvas, 500 x 1500 mm

, oil on canvas, 1550 x 330 mm

Paris Burning
, oil on canvas, 920 x 1220 mm

Room With a View
, oil on canvas, 900 x 1200 mm

The Exercise Ladies
, oil on canvas, 760 x 1020 mm

The Scottish Gown
, oil on canvas, 1200 x 900 mm


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February 2024 brings together the works of eight artists in response to the theme DEEP:

-        Amy Blackburn
-        Angela Tier
-        Matthew Steedman
-        Claudia Aalderink
-        Ian Chapman
-        Roger Key
-        Brett a’Court
-        Lee-Ann Dixon


Commentary on each artist’s works is set out under the images below - be sure to stop by ZIMMERMAN this month, to take a closer look at these stunning works! 




DEEP - exhibition commentary

Amy Blackburn – Deep Garden 1- 4

Exhibiting for the first time at ZIMMERMAN is Palmerston North artist Amy Blackburn, with four small Deep Garden acrylic paintings, each celebrating the richness and serenity of abundant blooms.

Angela Tier – With Plastic Arrows, we shot the Albatross

With Plastic Arrows, we shot the Albatross, is a deeply reflective stoneware sculpture by Angela Tier. The wall-hung work depicts a Sarcophagus albatross, its lifeless form impressed with an array of plastic motifs.

The work speaks to how floating plastics endanger the life of the Laysan Albatross. The bird often mistakes floating plastic objects for food, consuming these objects and feeding them to its chicks. Ingesting the plastics damages and blocks the bird’s digestive system, leading to starvation and death.

As Tier notes, “Our consumer choices, bad management of plastic waste and the high use of plastics globally is having a dire effect on these vulnerable birds.”

Matthew Steedman – Deep Sleep

Deep Sleep is a pixelated oil painting on board by Matthew Steedman.

It reflects on the sleep cycle, and how the brain engages in intricate activities that play a vital role in maintaining cognitive health and overall well-being.

The artist notes “The brightly coloured pixels represent the brain activity that occurs during a seemingly passive state, including the reactivation of neural circuits, strengthening synaptic connections, and transferring newly acquired knowledge to long-term memory storage.”

Claudia Aalderink – Deep

A striking large work by Claudia Aalderink, Deep, uses recycled beehives as the medium for the artist to explore subtleties of colour, texture, repetition and composition.

Bringing a new identity to the weathered beehive boxes, the artist invites viewers to bring their own meaning to the composition.

“I love the honesty of the material. I don’t hide any of the ‘scars’ created over time. They merely add to the final outcome of a piece”.

Ian Chapman – Anger Management

Plunging us into the ocean depths is a large sea-green painting by Ian Chapman.

At first glance, the work simply depicts a brightly coloured floating buoy with a ball anchor. But, as is often the case with Chapman’s works, the title provides further insight. Discovering this work is called Anger Management spurs a closer look; might there be an angry little man - perhaps cooling off - inside that big bronze ball?

Roger Key – Deep Desire, Sea Rex! and Deep Space Wrestle-o-rama

A sense of humour is also evident in three oil paintings on canvas by Roger Key.

Deep Desire depicts an extraordinary romantic encounter underwater, while Sea Rex! just might make you think twice before deciding to dive for sunken treasure.

But the deep drama is not confined to the oceans, with a vigorous extraterrestrial tussle taking place in Deep Space Wrestle-o-rama.

Brett a’Court – Te Ua Anoints Kimble Bent (“You are a Maori now”)

Brett a’Court’s intriguing contribution to this month’s exhibition is Te Ua Anoints Kimble Bent ("You are a Maori Now").

This oil painting on prepared woollen blanket draws on an historical encounter between Kimble Bent - a soldier who deserted from the British Army in the New Zealand Wars, and lived among the Māori people - and Te Ua Haumēne, a Māori Prophet who welcomed Pākehā deserters, giving them his protection.

Te Ua met Bent, and anointed him by taking a potato from a basket, breaking it into two pieces, and giving one piece to Bent. Te Au told Bent to eat it saying, "You are tapu — your life is safe; no man may harm you now that you have eaten of my sacred food. You are a Māori now.”

Lee-Ann Dixon – Deep seated memory of childhood I & II

Two small paintings on canvas by Lee-Ann Dixon also reflect on the past, inspired by “deep seated memories of childhood”.

The effects of the years are evident in the chipped and broken appearance of the two vintage toys; the playthings of childhood now capable of bringing to mind the deep and suppressed memories of the past.

Angela Tier – Sacrifice, As the Sun Sets for Me (urn), and Caught in a Net (urn) 

In addition to Angela Tier’s wall hung Albatross work, the artist is also exhibiting this month three stoneware works displayed in Perspex-covered plinths.

Sacrifice depicts a bird in woven wrappings, delicately balanced within a vessel. The work is a quiet reflection on the historic impact of the fishing industry on the Tāiko (Westland Black Petrel).

Tāiko shadow fishing boats - particularly tuna longlines and trawlers - looking for an easy meal from the waste, and have suffered high mortality rates due to becoming victims of bycatch.

Tier’s lament for Tāiko mortality is also depicted in the 25 cm high urn As the Sun Sets for Me.

On a positive note - in 2020, New Zealand introduced new regulations for tuna longline fishing, and funded a “Hookpod” device for 15 fishing fleets. By the end of the year, the boats using Hookpods celebrated zero bycatch, meaning no Tāiko (or other birds) were caught in their nets.

A second, taller black urn depicts the Little Black Shag (Kawau Tui). These birds are the only known species of shag to forage in flocks, so a net that is set, but left unattended, can potentially ensnare an entire feeding flock.

Tier’s Little Black Shag urn, titled Caught in a net, is a reminder of the risk to birds of setting fishing nets and leaving them unattended.

DEEP is on display until Sunday 25 February – gallery open hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday each week






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To end 2023 and welcome the new year ahead, ZIMMERMAN’s summer exhibition celebrates art works that are "small and wonderful".

As works leave this evolving exhibition, new works will progressively be added to take their place - come take a look when you're out and about this summer.

The gallery is open every Thursday to Saturday until 3pm on Christmas Eve, then re-opening Thursday 11 January 2024.  


All things small and wonderful


ZIMMERMAN’s summer exhibition showcases works that are “small and wonderful” – with art works by ten artists opening the show, and works by other artists set to arrive in the weeks ahead.

Exhibiting at ZIMMERMAN for the first time is Palmerston North ceramic artist Justin Cook. Justin’s assembled creatures great and small are inspired by extinct indigenous species and animals from other places that might seek to journey here.

Also new to the gallery this month are pulp art paintings by Roger Key, a celebration of the B-grade movie genre, with its cast of heroes, baddies, damsels in distress and interplanetary travellers.

New works by textile artist Michele Irving imagine a fantastical world in which cats and dogs feast and frolic, while paintings by Tony Rumball portray scenes from both still life and out and about.

Daniel Dibble’s bronze birdmen appear suspended in a trance-like state; on the wall behind them is a new psychedelic abstract painting by Deano Shirriffs.

Sean Crawford’s Red, White and Blue laser cut spray cans reflect on questions of patriotism and territorial claims, while a gourd from the artist’s own garden is reproduced in bronze in Fran Dibble’s sculpture Small Worlds.

Repurposed wood is employed to dramatic effect by artists Claudia Aalderink and Cam Munroe; Claudia with a series of works made from charred, recycled beehives, and Cam Munroe with two paintings on shadow cladding.

As sold works can be taken home immediately, new works are set to arrive in the coming weeks – including works by Brett a’Court, Kirsty Gardiner and Lee-Ann Dixon.

So this summer exhibition is one to revisit – come take a look!

Exhibition continues until Sunday 28 January 2024

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For November 2023, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Grey Matter  - seven new pixelated oil paintings by Palmy artist Matthew Steedman. 

Each pixel in these 1000 x 1000 mm greyscale paintings is meticulously painted by hand, one pixel at a time.

Commentary on the artist's exhibition is set out underneath the images below.

Grey Matter is a collection of greyscale pixelated oil paintings that explore the intricacies of perception, memory, and human connection during our rapidly evolving digital age. 

Artist Matthew Steedman draws his source material from both social media and his own photographic archives. 

In some instances a single photograph is used as a starting point; other times elements from multiple images are merged together to create a new composition.  

The process behind the paintings is an intricate dance between the digital and the physical. Matthew uses Photoshop to deconstruct images to pixels and strip them of colour. He then translates these digital templates to canvas by hand, painting one pixel at a time. 

The artist finds painting squares to be a labour intensive process, and an opportunity to enjoy albums, podcasts, and audio books. 

Coffee is referenced in this series as a symbol of social connection, and a ritual that allows for face to face contact. Other subjects include a soft serve ice cream, evoking memories of a different time. 

Central to this series is Art Appreciation, a painting that illustrates the prevalence of technology in our modern lives. 

Matthew Steedman (b. Christchurch, 1976) is a Palmerston North based artist best known for his pixelated oil paintings. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Quay School of the Arts, Whanganui (1999).


"Grey Matter" runs until Sunday 26 November - come take a look!

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For October 2023, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Aquarius Moon, a new series of mixed media paintings on board by Deano Shirriffs. 

The works range in size from a 30 cm circle to an impressive 120 cm circle, evoking a sense of other-worldly landscapes, swirling vortexes, and watery luminous orbs floating in space.

Commentary on the artist's exhibition is set out underneath the images below.

Shirriffs' abstract landscape paintings explore a connection to the natural world and the cosmos.

Finding form and inspiration from the environment, and the alignments of planets and stars, the artist embeds in his paintings concepts relevant to the themes he investigates in each new body of work.

In 2022, the Aries Sun series was a fiery, explosive body of work, created by the artist in his 40th year. 

This month’s exhibition, Aquarius Moon, contemplates the artist’s moon sign, with works exploring the watery ethereal qualities of moonlight and the energy of tidal forces.

Shirriffs has pushed his mediums to their extremes in these latest paintings, experimenting with textured surfaces and layering effects beneath resin waves.

The resulting works evoke a sense of other-worldly landscapes, swirling vortexes, and watery luminous orbs floating in space.

"Aquarius Moon" runs until Sunday 29 October 2023.


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For September 2023 ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present In Another Form: a joint exhibition by Cam Munroe and Claudia Aalderink.

Cam has embraced the quatrefoil form, with seven large mixed media works on board, all featuring the distinctive four lobe shape.

Fellow artist Claudia Aalderink, exhibiting for the first time at ZIMMERMAN, explores the textural qualities of charred recycled beehives, creating a new identity from the weathered wood boxes.

Commentaries by each artist are set out beneath the following exhibition images: 

Cam Munroe

Cam Munroe's quatrefoil shaped paintings are a new approach for the artist in this month’s joint exhibition with Claudia Aalderink.

The quatrefoil has a long history, across different cultures and civilizations.

In Mesoamerica it represented otherworldly passageways.

In China the quatrefoil denoted spiritual protection and rebirth.

The symbols and motifs in Cam’s paintings draw inspiration from various ancient writing systems and culture, including Egyptian hieroglyphics, Sumerian cuneiform, and modern symbols.

“Through the use of subtle colours, line work and intricate motifs, I seek to pay homage to the ancient symbology, writing systems and the history the markings have had in culture and in turn the inspiration this history has had in my art practice."

"By bringing together these different elements, I wish to evoke universal themes and ideas that have transcended time and geography."

"I aim to convey a sense of wonder at the enduring power of ancient markings and their ability to communicate complex ideas and emotions across generations and landscapes.”

Claudia Aalderink  

This month is the second time Claudia Aalderink has collaborated with Cam Munroe on a joint exhibition.

Whereas Cam works with a symbolic structure and approach that maps a surface, Claudia meticulously fragments old beehives in a non-symbolic approach.

Within a reduced visual vocabulary of circles, squares, rectangles, and lines, Claudia explores the subtlety of colour, scale, and composition.

The textural qualities of charred recycled beehives create a new identity from the weathered wood boxes.

Through repetition the works evoke thought and emotive content, inviting viewers to construct their own meaning from the compositions.

Claudia has been working with recycled beehives for over 12 years, constantly reinventing the possibilities of the medium.

“Each piece has their own story and I love the honesty of the material."

"I don’t hide any of the ‘scars’ created over time. They merely add to the final outcome of a piece”. 

The joint exhibition of Cam Munroe and Claudia Aalderink runs until Sunday 1 October 2023 - gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday.


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ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Strange Friends and Friendly Strangers, new charcoal drawings by local artist Naga Tsutsumi

The artist's statement for this exhibition is beneath the following images:


Artist's commentary on the exhibition

"In the summer of 1978, I was sent to the United States to participate in one of the major summer camps in Yosemite National Park for 30 days. 

I first thought my parents wanted to get rid of me, so I cried all through the first night, but I also cried on the last day because I didn't want to go back to my home country Japan. 

I was rather a regular Japanese boy, so couldn't speak English at all. Nevertheless, I made friends with some American boys because we all loved superheroes. 

We made conversations with fighting gestures of American heroes like Spiderman and Japanese superheroes like Ultraman. Boys didn't need verbal language then.

In my teens, I was one of millions of other kids who love superheroes. I still like to watch them in TV programmes or movies; however, the way I like them is very different now from then. 

I realise I enjoy watching enemies more than superheroes. 

Those aliens from outer space or monsters hidden underground (or underwater) try to attack people and invade the earth with all sorts of creative ideas, unique tactics and imaginative weapons, but the superheroes always repel those attackers in the end. 

I don't like superheroes' perfectionism. I just can't accept a simple good-punishing-bad plot any longer, too. 

Superheroes look good, smart and nice; they are simply just too perfect, which is so unreal and unlikely. If I am to choose either superheroes or aliens/monsters as my friends, I choose the latter without hesitation. 

I wanted to make my recent favourite monsters and aliens appear in drawings along with people, in friendly and rather respectful settings. They are among us, just like interaction between aliens at a saloon in Star Wars."

- Naga Tsutsumi (2023)

Exhibition runs until Sunday 27 August. Gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday.  


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For July 2023 ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present two separate feature exhibitions:

- Recall by Kirsty Gardiner and
- Atmospheric Rivers Precipitate by Leigh Anderton-Hall.

Selected images are beneath the exhibition commentaries below.

Kirsty Gardiner - Recall

Recall (verb):

1.     bring a fact or object back into one’s mind

2.     to return to a place

3.     remember or see once more

4.     in this case, to hear a bird’s song again

Recall is about creating a collection over time, and bringing it together in one space as an exhibition.

“Recalling ideas, works, themes from the past, and enjoying the process of re-working these, hopefully with a new look at my technical skills and with additions of textiles and found objects.

I still enjoy my work after thirty years, and love creating objects d’art that have a sense of recalling the past with a contemporary twist.” 

Leigh Anderton Hall - Atmospheric Rivers Precipitate

In Atmospheric Rivers Precipitate, ceramic artist Leigh Anderton-Hall explores the concern and fascination surrounding the persistent rain that has been drenching the country.

Meteorologists attribute these deluges to concentrated streams of moisture in the atmosphere, known as “atmospheric rivers”.

These rivers form above the Pacific Ocean and move southward, accumulating water along the way until they reach a landmass, where they release their entire contents.

The artist combines reality with mythology to examine this natural phenomenon, with works reflecting on the impact atmospheric rivers have on the environment and human lives.

Atmospheric Rivers Precipitate depicts houses - icons of safety and valuable assets - as vulnerable to the threat of swiftly moving and ominous clouds.

A Civil Defence worker, in his distinctive “hi-vis” vest, reluctantly engages in the relentless task of cleaning up after the destructive forces of nature

Guardians of pine forests and orchards are portrayed as shocked and surprised, perhaps unaware that the gods have the power to unleash fury upon them at any moment

But in this mythical world the Orchard Guardian holds a secret promise of regrowth, in the form of a grafted wand.

The wand suggests that, amidst the devastation caused by the atmospheric rivers, there is hope for renewal and the potential for nature to bounce back. 


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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present two complementary exhibitions by Fran Dibble: The Islands (a series of small bronze sculptures) and Soft Winds Blow (new oil paintings on board).

Images are beneath the exhibition commentary below.

The Islands

The Islands extends from two previous series of sculpture: The Beautiful Destruction and Atlantis.

Both earlier series featured small, imagined worlds; storybook depictions of environments created by the effects of floods and rising seas.

Natural disasters were handled with a certain optimism, adaption, and a pragmatic sense of survival.

In this latest series, The Islands, it is as if the sea level has slowly risen; not as great waves and storms, but quietly moving upwards to engulf the land, so that only the tips of hills are left, turning into small sanctuary islands where flimsy supports hold up tents, trees and houses.

These small sculptures are warnings of the dangers of climate change, but even more are tributes to the ongoing spirit of human endurance.

Tragedy is depicted with a sense of humour – flags are flown, washing is still hung out to dry, boats and rafts are sent in to support trees, and in one work a small architectural folly is supported on waterlily pads.

Soft Winds Blow

Displayed behind the sculptures is Soft Winds Blow: a series of paintings, arranged side by side as a frieze.

The paintings show part of a ramshackle garden. Against a background of strobes of gold, plants move in a quiet wind – long stalks expressively bending into gentle arcs, the leaves waving across the horizontal band.


The Islands and Soft Winds Blow are two separate shows, but they are easy companions.

The green patina of the bronze works blends with the green and blue notes of the paintings; both happy and playful studies, and in each a sense of life bending and adapting in response to the forces of nature. – Fran Dibble (2023) 

Exhibition runs until Sunday 2 July. If you're in Palmerston North this month, come take a look - gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday.  


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Welcome to the garden where kowhai bloom and huia flock, drinking nectar in a secluded wonderland.

This is a land of abundance, a banquet, a world restored; sculpted by Paul Dibble in bronze, with opulent floral showers of gold.

Dibble’s garden recalls a lost paradise; a place where huia frolicked and kowhai flourished; a time of plenty, when life was simple and nature was undisturbed by human activity.

Huia and kowhai are both iconic symbols of myth and reverence. The kowhai, with its miraculous sudden flowering on leafless branches, is like an act of divine power. One myth has it that the flowering was created by a Māori god as a challenge to win a lover’s hand – Aotearoa’s own Olympian feat.

Huia feathers, stored carefully in waka huia (carved treasure boxes), were once worn as a sign of rank and mana.

But the excitement of beauty can come at a cost. A fascination with huia spurred demand for its carcasses and tail feathers, driving the species to extinction.

Dibble’s recreated paradise, for all its splendour, anticipates this looming loss.

In "Huia Sings Alone" a single bird perches on a branch sparse of blossom, the base of the sculpture suggestive of an abandoned island.

Gold glitters as bauble and huia balance trophy-like on rings.

For all its beauty, Dibble’s restored garden of plenty is really a solemn statement about greed, mistakes and loss.

“The Lost Garden” by Paul Dibble runs until 28 May. If you're in Palmerston North this month, come take a look - gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday.  


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This month's exhibition is "Wallpaper" by Lee-Ann Dixon.

Regular visitors to Zimmerman Art Gallery will be familiar with Lee-Ann's intricately detailed oil paintings on vintage serving ware.

This month's exhibition marks a new direction for Lee-Ann, with a series of works on canvas, in which patterns of vintage wallpaper evoke memories of the past.

"My story is not a new story, growing up in the 70s the feeling of abandonment was not uncommon. These paintings are the start of putting my thoughts onto canvas, as ideas about the past start to unfold."

The wallpaper in the paintings often appears cracked, faded or stained, as if from mistreatment or neglect over the years. In some works the wallpaper is peeling and torn, beginning to disclose what may have been covered over for decades.

Insects and skull bones hover or alight upon these decorative surfaces, perhaps seeking a place of rest or camouflage. But for every effort to hide in plain sight, their presence is revealed when exposed to light.

If you're in Palmerston North this month, be sure to come take a look - gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday (closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday).  


List of works (in the order shown above)

Small works (unframed):

- Blue Moon (2022), oil on canvas, 205 x 205 mm 
- Cold and Dark (2022), oil on canvas, 200 x 200 mm
- Blending In (2022), oil on canvas, 205 x 205 mm
- Pretty in Pink (2023), oil on canvas, 205 x 205 mm

Framed works (medium size):

- Solitary I (2023), oil on board, 330 x 330 mm 
- Solitary II (2023), oil on board, 330 x 330 mm
- Once in a Blue Moon (2022), oil on canvas board, 435 x 335 mm 
- Neglected II (2022), oil on canvas board, 435 x 335 mm
- Neglected (2022), oil on canvas board, 435 x 335 mm

Large framed work:

- Centre of Attention (2023), oil on board, 525 x 720 mm


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The Chinese lunar calendar marks 2023 as the Year of the Rabbit.

For Chinese the rabbit symbolizes longevity, peace, and prosperity.

In New Zealand we have a more mixed response to the long-eared creatures; for some they are the cute fluffy bunnies of folklore, film and storybooks, for others they are cherished domestic pets, while to members of the farming community they are exasperating pests.

This month’s exhibition brings together the works of 10 artists in response to the theme RABBIT.

Some of the works are playful and humorous, while others are more sombre and thought-provoking. The works range in size from petite wearable art, to a bronze sculpture more than 2 metres tall.

So there's something for everyone in this month's exhibition - be sure to stop by Zimmerman Art Gallery this month to take a look! Gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday; exhibition runs until Sunday 2 April.

Featured artists (in alphabetical order):
- Brett a'Court - oil painting on canvas
- Cam Munroe - mixed media painting on shadow cladding
- Deano Shirriffs - mixed media painting on circular board
- Lee-Ann Dixon - three oil paintings on canvas
- Leigh Anderton-Hall - earthenware clay sculpture 
- Michele Irving - textile sculpture & four textile brooches
- Naga Tsutsumi - charcoal drawing on paper
- Paul Dibble - large and four model sized cast bronze sculptures
- Rachael Garland - two mixed media paintings on board
- Tony Rumball - large and two small oil paintings on canvas

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Predator Free 2050 is a strategy to eradicate all rats, stoats, ferrets, weasels and possums from New Zealand by the year 2050.

In this month’s exhibition, Angela Tier draws attention to our rat and mouse populations, and the nearing target date for a predator free Aotearoa.

The artist’s stoneware sculptures invite us to consider how quickly rat and mouse populations can increase, and how advances in science and technology could change the way we manage pest control in the future, with methods such as gene editing, pest specific bait and fertility control.

The artist's statement for this exhibition is set out beneath the images below. If you're in Palmerston North this month, be sure to come take a look at this stunning exhibition - gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday.


2050 – Artist’s statement

New Zealand’s first rats were kiore (Pacific rats), which arrived with Polynesian explorers. Kiore were widespread across Aotearoa before European settlement, but now are confined to Fiordland and offshore islands. The Norway rat was introduced in the 18th century and is now common in wet habitats, urban areas and offshore islands. A third rat, the ship rat, is currently widespread throughout New Zealand after being introduced in the North Island in 1860s and South Island in the 1890s. The ship rat has thrived here and continues to be an ongoing problem, especially when it comes to protecting our native species from declining numbers and extinction. Lastly, we have the common house mouse, which is also a problem for native species.

In New York, rodent issues have led to research and development into humane pest control methods, by using oral contraceptives to alter hormones in rodents to decrease their fertility. ContraPest is a contraceptive powder for rodents that is being marketed as a modern pain free way to reduce rat populations from people’s homes and businesses over time without harming the rat. The rat is able to live out its normal lifespan, but without the ability to breed in vast numbers. According to information on the Contrapest website, just two rats reproducing can be responsible for up to 15,000 descendants – and that’s an infestation indeed! Using Contrapest is as easy as sprinkling the low-risk powder onto food bait deployed in child and dog safe devices. The rats willingly consume this and it changes their hormones for up to a year, lessening the rate of new litters and dramatically reducing the population of new rats

In New Zealand, other scientific options for pest control being explored are the Trojan Female technique of gene editing, which renders the male offspring infertile, as well as species-specific poison which targets one pest group. The fertility treatment option by Contrapest is being closely followed, but so far is not in the running as a pest control method here. It targets the Norway rat and ship rat species, which could be of great use in New Zealand to control rat populations, if used in the way designed and kept out of reach of pets and children; but could it be dispensed safely in our native bush and surrounding public areas without affecting our biodiversity?  And what are the adverse risks or effects?

The target date for Predator Free Aotearoa 2050 is now less than 30 years away, which doesn’t seem that far off if you consider how long we have been trying to manage invasive introduced species in Aotearoa. The main way we have managed pests over the years in New Zealand has been to mistakenly introduce new species such as stoats to control rabbit populations, as well as some foreign birds such as the yellowhammer and magpie to control insects for the agricultural industry, but the methods more commonly known and still in use today are trapping, shooting and registered poisons. However, advances in science and technology could change the way we manage pests in the coming years with methods such as gene editing, pest specific bait and fertility control. Information, research, and time is what is needed here to make an informed choice, but the clock is ticking, and the goal of being predator free by 2050 is just around the corner.

Exhibition runs until Sunday 26 February 2023


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To end 2022 and welcome the new year ahead, ZIMMERMAN’s summer exhibition celebrates art works that are "small and wonderful". As works leave this evolving exhibition, new works are progressively being added to take their place - come take a look when you're out and about this summer. The gallery is open until 3pm on Christmas Eve, then re-opening in the New Year on Thursday 5 January 2023. 


All things small and wonderful


Kirsty Gardiner delights with several new ceramic works, ranging from dainty multi-coloured beetles, to a new series of petite potted bouquets.

The paintings of long-time exhibitor Tony Rumball playfully portray modern life and times, while the steel sculptures of Sebastien Jaunas suggests a more medieval aesthetic.

Closer to home, a painting by Brett a'Court delves into our uniquely New Zealand history. Brett's use of woollen blankets as a medium in his paintings are a connection and metaphor between colonisation, Christianity and the Maori prophets.

Exhibiting at ZIMMERMAN for the first time is Palmerston North artist Deano Shirriffs, with a series of paintings on board in fresh and engaging colour palettes.

Two other first time exhibitors at the gallery are Whanganui artist Leigh Anderton-Hall, with a series of wall-hung ceramic clouds, and icon painter David Sarich, whose small paintings on wood bowls convey a sense of things sacred and treasured.

An acrylic painting by local artist Naga Tsutsumi takes inspiration from the opening line of The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger.  The novel details two days in the life of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, as he searches for truth and rails against the “phoniness” of the adult world. 

The ever-imaginative Michele Irving has crafted an endearing new series of “Noisy Dog” brooches (woof!), while the quirky Ian Chapman continues to celebrate the off-beat in his new painting, A deep dive into reality.

Lee-Ann Dixon’s meticulously painted works on vintage ware are a continuing reminder of the preciousness and transience of life, while painter Elspeth Shannon appears to have breathed life to an entire new species (part mineral, part botanical) in her ongoing “Stoneflower” series.  

New bronze sculptures by Paul Dibble convey maturity and poise, while Fran Dibble impresses with an elegant grouping of small garden-scape oil paintings on board.

A pixelated painting by Matthew Steedman responds to the kaleidoscopic colours of autumn, while Cam Munroe’s latest series, Look at that heaven which night never makes black, invites us to bring our own associations to the works.

Such a variety of works to view - with further works arriving as the exhibition progresses - be sure to stop in for a look!

Exhibition runs until Sunday 29 January 2023

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This month a cloud has gathered at ZIMMERMAN, with a collection of small bronze drops in the front gallery space. 

Fran Dibble notes “the celebration of water has been a part of my artistic practice for decades now. I am constantly amazed by how this ordinary part of nature has such power – as a life-giving force; its ability to make up enormous seas, lakes and rivers; carving out valleys; its symbolic significance and the emotive reactions it induces – its preciousness.”

“For this reason my small rain drop models (their size much reduced from the monumental drop installed outside the gallery) are often gilded, emphasizing their existence as small valuable keepsakes of this simple common phenomena. But for all this sentimentality the message is bitter-sweet: the drops also stand as warnings signs for the future, a reminder of the environmental issues of our age.”

Some of the drops are left as simple elegant shapes; others are decorated with words or imagery.

On the walls behind the drop sculptures are two new large oil paintings on board: Winter – rounded by a sleep, and Spring – the world wakes.

“At the end of last year I set myself a task for 2022. I would paint four paintings of a garden scene, in each different season in a year. This was a great project for when sitting put; contemplating the changes in the world around me, encouraging a sense of wonder and discovery of life."

“Summer was shown at Zimmerman Gallery in March this year. Then I began on the next seasons. But, of course, this was bound not to go to plan as I enjoy too much the experimentation of altering things. Autumn was started, but then put to one side, and the next two seasons became horizontal rather than vertical. I changed around the featured plants, and Winter became a night scene, while Spring is a fresh morning.”

“The works are painted with an interest in the expressive movement of paint, like a garden tapestry, in a shallow perspective, rather than painting landscape with its traditional sense of vista and space.”

Exhibition runs until Sunday 27 November 2022



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This month ZIMMERMAN is pleased to present a selection of large oil paintings on canvas by Tony Rumball. 

Exhibition images and a brief commentary are set out beneath the images below. 



The inspirations behind Rumball’s paintings range from recollections of life as a dairy farmer in rural Taranaki, to sights and scenes encountered on travels in Europe.


Brushes with Bulls brings together two of Rumball’s enduring interests: animals and art. While dairy farming and painting are two very different careers, Rumball has embraced both with vigour and good-humour; his own “brushes with bulls” perhaps prompting this playful work.


Away from the farm and on sojourns overseas, Rumball has seized the opportunity to see many works by internationally acclaimed artists. Rumball’s painting Bathing After Hockney is inspired by a work by British pop artist David Hockney titled Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures). In Rumball’s rendition a third figure stands poolside – Rumball has painted himself into the famous scene, diligently keeping watch as the lifeguard.


Other works in this month’s exhibition are inspired by Rumball’s rambles through the European countryside.


The artist “can’t stop drawing” while travelling, and on returning home his notebook is a rich source of subject material for a number of paintings. Among the works inspired by such trips are In Europe and Rumball’s recollections of a bleak and blustery day Off Cornwall. The latter painting recalls a glimpse of the Royal Navy / Customs' tower in Cornwall and Saint Piran's flag (the flag of Cornwall, a black flag with a white cross, attributed to 5th century Cornish abbot Saint Piran).


Titles and dimensions of paintings in this month's exhibition (from left to right, in first exhibition image above):

Suburb, oil on canvas, 920 x 1220 mm

Brushes with Bulls, oil on canvas, 1220 x 920 mm

Bathing After Hockney, oil on canvas, 1000 x 1500 mm

Off Cornwall, oil on canvas, 1220 x 920 mm 

Europe, oil on canvas, 910 x 1520 mm 

Queen for a Day, oil on canvas, 1500 x 930 mm


Exhibition runs until Sunday 30 October 2022

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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present an exhibition by Fran and Paul Dibble, exhibiting for the first time with their son, Daniel Dibble.

Exhibition images and a brief commentary are set out beneath the images below. 


Exhibition commentary

An exhibition by three Dibbles – husband, wife, and son – three D (and mostly sculpture!), a family grouping as if latter day Brugal but, in keeping with contemporary notions of art, with very different visions.


Paul Dibble is one of New Zealand’s better-known sculptors with public works dotted throughout the country, from a career spanning 50 years. The works on display include studies of the cherished huia and golden kowhai. Part of what is special about these sculptures is their local attachment, for they are all made here, from original concept to finished piece, and referencing this geographical place, where huia were last seen in the Tararua ranges in 1907.


Daniel Dibble’s sculptural explorations show a sounding out of stylistic trends – a bird caught mid-flight; another balanced on a golden peach; a boy precariously balancing after a fall, as if ready to fling himself off to ricochet on a building or onto a dance floor with all the energy of youth; an abstract form reaching up to disappear into the ether.


But the greatest number and the most recent of Daniel’s works are a series of spiral forms, coiling and rebounding inwards, challenging the possibilities of bronze casting. The simplest calls to mind the famous line of Paul Klee, of “taking a line for a walk”.


The most complex of Daniel’s spiral forms could indicate something as grandiose as the movements of the universe, or as small and simple as the path a fly might make in a drunken trip around the room. Some of these sculptures are left as simple wild forms, while others include a tiny element of realism – a surfer or a robed figure - to prompt the viewer into seeing these as giant realms.


Fran Dibble’s most recent paintings are themed on a messy garden, allowing for compositions of a jumble of colour and forms. Flat dots peek through to the painting’s ground colour, creating their own curious sense of movement. Their perfect spherical forms emphasise the expressive flamboyant disorder of the foliage behind.  

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This month’s group exhibition is BONES.

The exhibition brings together a number of bones, skulls and skeletons, spanning histories from the Middle East to the antipodes, as well as encompassing more abstract interpretations.

Exhibition images and a brief commentary are set out beneath the images below. 


BONES - a group exhibition

The paintings of Cam Munroe, Dig 1, 2 and 3, recall archaeological excavation sites. An imagined collection of unearthed relics is carefully laid out across the canvas, as if assembled in preparation for catalouging and interpretation; curious symbols and artefacts holding the promise of unlocking mysteries about past civilisations.

A ritual practice of ancient Egyptian civilisation is echoed in Angela Tier’s stoneware works, Death Wish Urns: Vessels for Dust and Bones. Canopic jars were used in ancient Egyptian burials for preserving the viscera of their mummified owners. Four jars, with lids sculpted in the shape of heads, would be placed in the tomb close to the preserved body. In Tier’s interpretation, the sculpted lids are in the form of four animal heads: dog, cat, raven and vulture.

Brett a’Court’s paintings have a distinctly New Zealand genesis. Te Kooti’s Horse (The White Horse of the Apocalypse) recalls the white horse ridden by the Māori prophet in the 1800s. Followers of Te Kooti believed the horse was the embodiment of the White Horse from the Book of Revelation, with mystical powers to ensure its rider eluded capture. Paradoxically, a’Court’s more recently completed painting, The Resurrection of the Moa, digs more deeply into New Zealand history, remembering our lost large bird, now extinct for around 500 years.

The Bone Charmer is a new series of works by Kirsty Gardiner, inspired by a book of that name by Breeana Shields. Bone charms are magical items, usually made from whale bone. In Gardiner's works the charms are made of clay and metal, to represent the reincarnation of a heron, a sacred bird, symbolising patience, rarity, and good luck. The birds are adorned with flowers, leaves and other ephemera to convey their spiritual significance.

Elspeth Shannon’s painting, Night Stones as Dry as Bones, is a more abstract response to the exhibition theme.

Lee-Ann Dixon’s paintings on vintage ware have long featured animal and bird skulls; this month’s exhibition includes both. Visual tributes to life’s transience, Dixon’s meticulous paintings capture imagined moments and the passing of time.

Naga Tsutsumi’s central charcoal work features a cascade of bones, falling from the heavens above a solitary cat … to the puzzlement of the Magnificent Seven dogs in the background. A second charcoal work, simply titled Bone, depicts a single bone protruding from a tangled tower of tumbling cats.

In Paul Dibble’s bronze sculpture, Huia Acknowledges Death, an extinct huia perches on a human skull - as if engaged in conversation, each seemingly oblivious to their demise. A lone kowhai blossoms beside them and their impossible discourse. The work is a play on the contrasts of beauty and decay, and of life and loss; a poignant foretelling of the end to come.

A gilded bronze wishbone by Fran Dibble is modelled on the wishbones used in the childhood game, where players each grab an end and pull until the bone breaks, the biggest end granting the winner a wish. Dibble's version - not for breaking - is a tribute to hopes and dreams, and childish fun.


Painter Tony Rumball approached this month’s theme with characteristic dry humour. Years of experience working with stock is evident in his beast and farmer pairings in Showtime (about being fit for an A&P show) and Through and Through (depicting a tired old couple). Past Caring is a wry predator/prey still life; while the gentle concern of one beast for another is playfully expressed in Your Chassis’s Showing.

Away from the farm and onto the rugby field, Rumball painted One Last Conversion after viewing Hiebeler’s 20-panel Totentanz (Dance of Death) in Füssen, Bavaria. Rich and poor, merchant and beggar, athlete and frail old man: all will eventually be called to dance the last dance.

This month's BONES exhibition remains on display until Sunday 28 August 2022.

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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Desperately Normal – a new series of paintings by Ian Chapman.


Chapman identifies as being “desperately normal on the outside, and a little irregular on the inside."


In this exhibition, Chapman reflects on the masks he wears as an artist: “Masks of humour; hiding behind jokes and laughter. Also hiding behind trying to be a perfect painter where everything looks as it should.”


“The works in this exhibition are a departure from my usual realistic work; looser, brighter and with an edge of darkness. Strangely I feel it is a purer representation of me as an artist.” 


Full exhibition images and a brief artist bio are set out below. 





Ian Chapman – brief artist bio


Born in 1967 in Brighton, England, Chapman trained in Visual Art at the Polytechnic in Masterton.


Chapman has been involved with King Street Artworks in Masterton since its inception in 1997, first as a tutor and now as Manager.


Chapman has exhibited across New Zealand, from the Artist Room in Dunedin, to the Pah Homestead in Auckland, where in 1994 he was a finalist in the prestigious Wallace Art Awards.


In 2019, Chapman’s solo exhibition A Song for the Uncoordinated was exhibited at Aratoi Museum of Art and History, and later that year the artist went on to win the premier award at the Wairarapa Arts Review.


Chapman’s first solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN was in 2020. Titled Gravity Sucks, the works explored concepts of flight and fragility.


This month's exhibition, "Desperately Normal", is the artist’s second solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN. 

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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present DREAM: an exhibition of dreamlike apparitions by Whanganui-based artist, Rachael Garland.


DREAM runs until Sunday 26 June 2022; gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday - come take a look!



Rachael Garland - brief artist bio

Rachael graduated with high distinction in 2003 from Whanganui’s Quay School of Fine Arts, majoring in printmaking.  In 2015 she completed her Masters in Maori Visual Arts with First Class Honours.


Rachael continues her art making in printmaking and painting, and more recently in 3D construction and mixed media works. She has participated in numerous group and solo shows throughout New Zealand, and has work in many private collections both nationally and overseas.


Rachael's artwork is often an amalgamation of the real and the imagined. Recurring themes are magpies, dolls, and objects from her domestic realm alongside more fantastical, dreamlike imagery and symbolism.

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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present RELEASE: a group exhibition, exploring ideas of casting off, letting go or breaking free.


The exhibition includes works by Angela Tier, Matthew Steedman, Elspeth Shannon, Prakash Patel, Kirsty Gardiner, Andrew Moon, Fran Dibble, Jeremy Gardiner and Tony Rumball.


Further exhibition commentary is set out beneath the images below.  



RELEASE: a group exhibition


This month’s exhibition celebrates release – works that explore ideas of casting off, letting go or breaking free.


The theme is inspired by Angela Tier’s new sculptural series, the Liberators. Tier’s individually fashioned black dog statuettes draw on concepts relating to both Guatemalan worry dolls and Egyptian Shabti (mummy-like figurines).


Each black dog, with a small opening in its back, provides an opportunity to cast off your worries and woes. If you write down on paper the things that are troubling you, and place the paper into the back of the black dog, then this physical transfer of these negative thoughts out and away from yourself will help liberate you from them.


The ability to find ways to cast off our anxieties is of particular relevance in these challenging times.


For some, a favourite activity is the path to setting aside the day’s troubles and cares; no doubt the fisherman in Tony Rumball’s Surfcasting is enjoying the opportunity to breathe in the fresh sea air while indulging in his chosen hobby.


Matthew Steedman’s Woman Vaping has a different way of dissolving tension, while the central figure in Elspeth Shannon’s Reading Rimbaud favours a more luxurious relaxation method: soaking in a warm bath with a glass of bubbly and favourite book.


An early oil painting by Andrew Moon, Release, shares its title with this month’s exhibition, while Prakash Patel’s lively Blackbird is a more abstract response to the theme.


Three Fran Dibble works all play on ideas of release; from gently floating seeds in the small painting Soft Flow, to origami-inspired sculptures cast in bronze. One Dibble sculpture depicts a paper boat, as if left standing on a found book about ships, “perhaps from the bedroom of a boy day-dreaming of adulthood and travel, the boat later to be launched into a stream.”


Freshly hatched from the studio of Jeremy Gardiner is a flight of ceramic cicadas, with wings widespread, ready to take to the skies.


Rounding out the exhibition is a fascinating new installation by Masterton artist Kirsty Gardiner.


Seven embellished huia reward further inspection, with a curious miscellany of objects and imagery cradled inside. From these imagined inner-workings springs forth new life, with the emergence of leaves, blossoms and other ornamentations, including the artist’s signature ceramic moths.


RELEASE runs until Sunday 29 May 2022; gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday

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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present HUIA: a group exhibition. 


HUIA is an anniversary of sorts: marking 30 years since Manawatu sculptor Paul Dibble first incorporated huia in his work.


So this exhibition happily tips a hat to Paul Dibble, acknowledging his contribution to public consciousness of the huia.


But Dibble is not the only artist to find inspiration in his study of our beautiful lost bird.


This exhibition brings together a variety of work, in a range of media, created by New Zealand artists who have all responded to the call of HUIA: featuring new work by Paul Dibble, Brett a'Court, Cam Munroe, Ian Chapman, Sean Crawford, Tony Rumball, Kirsty Gardiner and Michele Irving.

Further exhibition commentary is set out beneath the images below.  



HUIA: a group exhibition

The inspiration behind this month's exhibition lies in the work of Manawatu sculptor Paul Dibble.

Dibble first featured the extinct huia in his work in 1992, in a sculpture titled "Tribute to Friends I Never Knew". In this early sculpture, a figure with an outstretched arm holds a small huia as if in conversation with a pet bird. At the time many people didn’t even know what a huia was - awareness of the huia seemed to have somehow fallen out of popular knowledge.


Over the next 30 years, huia had a rising importance to Dibble. Their significance was three-fold. First, with the last official sighting of huia in the nearby Tararua ranges, Dibble adopted the bird as a personal icon. Second, there was a growing interest in a New Zealand vernacular, with less emphasis on international art trends. And lastly - a particular concern in recent years - with the strengthening of the conservation movement.

The manner in which Dibble has portrayed huia has changed over these three decades, but huia have endured as a central presence in the sculptor’s work.

For this month’s exhibition at Zimmerman Art Gallery, Dibble and other artists were invited to respond to the theme “HUIA”.

The resulting exhibition is an impressive variety of art work, with new work by Paul Dibble, Brett a'Court, Cam Munroe, Ian Chapman, Sean Crawford, Tony Rumball, Kirsty Gardiner and Michele Irving.


Brett a'Court is exhibiting for the first time at Zimmerman Art Gallery with two new paintings, "Fallen Angel" (oil on canvas) and "The Lost Spirit of the Huia" (oil on prepared paper).  


Cam Munroe, with her signature use of symbols and hieroglyph forms, reflects on the huia we never had opportunity to meet, in a work on shadow cladding wistfully titled "I read about you".


"Wish you were here" is the title of Ian Chapman's surreal oil painting, in which a tightly bound huia is suspended above a well-thumbed postcard of Castlepoint.   


Two new bronze sculptures by Paul Dibble portray not only the artist's beloved huia, but also the glorious gilded kowhai that now regularly feature in Dibble's work.   


Wairarapa sculptor Sean Crawford's work, "Mantle", is a poignant charred structure. The artist has repurposed a fire surround (mantle piece), made of rimu and totara, and with an estimated age of 115 - 120 years: around the time that huia were still alive in our native bush. Crawford reflects on the last sightings of the huia as dying embers, as the huia's light faded into extinction. The "mantle" - as domestic habitat, with lacing cord representing the stars of the Southern Cross - now lost in fire, becomes a fetishized lament to a species gone.  


Installed above "Mantle" is another Crawford work, "The Land of Powder and Lost Stars": a musket fashioned from laser-cut steel huia. 


Tony Rumball's ink and graphite works capture some of the character of huia, portraying the birds in their imagined daily activities - preening, walking, feeding - reminding us of the life they once enjoyed in our land. 


Huia have featured for many years in the works of ceramic artist Kirsty Gardiner. Recently the artist began work on a new series, "The Taxidermist's Wife". Inspired by a Kate Mosse book, "The Taxidermist's Daughter", Gardiner's new works contemplate what a female taxidermist would make, using all her sewing materials, scraps and bits of metal available to her. The collected works include life size "faux huia", ornately embellished huia skins, two wall plaques and a flight of huia moths. 

Last - but certainly not least! - are the clever creations of Wellington textile artist Michele Irving. Reflecting on the extinct huia, the artist was inspired to give life to a new series, EXTINCT. Featured in this month's exhibition are:

- Ainsworth's Salamander - Mississippi United States, extinct 1964

- Huia - New Zealand wattlebird, extinct 1907

- Javan Tiger - Java Indonesia, extinct 1979

- Thylacine - Tasmanian Tiger - Australian marsupial, extinct 1936

Such an extraordinary variety of works to view this month - come take a look! 

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In 2022, the International Year of Glass, we’re delighted to kick off ZIMMERMAN’s exhibition schedule with the extraordinary glass works of Manawatu artist, George Agius.

The works in this month’s exhibition range from a series of wall-hung glass plates with gold lettering, to an afternoon tea setting offering a delicious array of tasty treats (but take a closer look: this scrumptious setting is not as it may at first seem …).

The full artist commentary, and a short artist bio, are set out underneath the images below. 



Saudade; Forgotten - Artist’s statement

"This body of work, Saudade; Forgotten, attempts to encapsulate the profound melancholic longing for a love lost and the effort to overcome these emotions.

Communication is at the heart of this work, as I chart the arcs of a relationship through the course of its timeline.

The wall-hung plates, titled All the Glitters is Not Necessarily Gold, feature Facebook messages exchanged during courtship. 

The messages range from the ecstatic beauty of falling in love, through to facing inevitable challenges that cannot be resolved. 

My aim is to memorialise this contemporary and fleeting mode of communication in a tangible and long lasting form, posing the question: what is lasting communication in a digital age of immediacy and constant contact?

The tea setting is titled Full disclosure: When fingers point, ears don’t listen, and mouths can’t speak.

This and my Finger Licking Good plates are my attempt to make the invisible seen, the intangible tangible, and the impermanent permanent, highlighting how integral honest and open communication is to a successful relationship."


George Agius - Brief artist bio

George Agius has a Bachelor of Fine Arts: Glass (Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Canada, 2010-2011), and a Diploma of Glass Design and Production (Whanganui Glass School, 2008-2010).

In 2013 George completed the JamFactory Associate Training Program in Adelaide (Australia) and subsequently exhibited in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize, Kennedy Art Prize, KIGA Illuminating Glass Award and Wagga Wagga National Emerging Art Glass Prize.

In 2015, at the Australian Glass Conference, George was awarded the peer-selected Vicki Torr Memorial Prize.


Gallery hours 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday - exhibition runs until Sunday 27 February 2022

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To end 2021 and welcome the new year ahead, ZIMMERMAN’s summer exhibition celebrates art works that are small and wonderful.


Eleven artists kick off the show, with further works set to arrive as these pieces find their new forever homes. 


Selected installation images and a brief commentary are set out below - enjoy!



All things small and wonderful



The smallest works on display this summer are Michele Irving’s teeny textile wall hangings, while the largest are abstract paintings by Elspeth Shannon.


New to ZIMMERMAN this month are the works of Whanganui’s Rachael Garland, beginning with a supernatural series of four paintings titled Strange Continent.


Also exhibiting for the first time at ZIMMERMAN is Palmerston North fibre and assemblage artist, Gunhild Litwin, with a delightful series of embroideries on paper.

Five black stoneware maquettes by Angela Tier anticipate larger works to be created in the New Year, while small sculptures by Fran and Paul Dibble are - as always - a welcome addition to this month’s exhibition.
A new painting by Fran, A Golden Summer, emits a warm glow on the gallery walls.
Tony Rumball’s petite paintings bring colour and quirk, while sculptor Kate Elder’s pastel toned wall sculptures are a welcome breath of fresh air at the end of a hard year.
The earliest works in the exhibition have been supplied by Naga Tsutsumi, with one small pencil study dating back to his student days in 1996.
And the most recently completed works in the exhibition include a fresh new series by Cam Munroe, titled Moons of Jupiter­, precisely painted on chunky wood blocks.
Such a variety of works to enjoy – be sure to come take a look! 
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For the month of November 2021 ZIMMERMAN is delighted to an exhibition of sculpted works by Angela Tier, complemented by two recent photographic images.

Titled "Bittersweet Wish: Flight of the Genie Birds", Tier's new series of stoneware vessels reflects on the introduction of selected birds to New Zealand.

Some of the sculptures represent birds that, while introduced to help control agricultural pests, have now become pests themselves, stripping grain crops and damaging fruit. Other birds that were imported as ornamental pets have, by accident or neglect, been released and have now established wild populations.

Yet while "the genie is out of the bottle" and Aoteoroa is forever changed, Tier’s sculptures impart a sense of the artist’s appreciation for the natural beauty and character of these relative newcomers to our shores.

 The full artist commentary on this new series of "genie birds" is set out beneath the  images below. 



Artist's commentary on Bittersweet Wish: Flight of the Genie Birds

"The genie shaped bottles in this exhibition represent a selection of feral introduced birds presently in New Zealand, as well as specific exotic bird species. The vessels depicted with handles are birds to report to DOC if you see them in the wild!”


In 1773, on his second voyage to New Zealand, Captain James Cook gave hens to Māori in both the North and South islands. Missionaries in the Bay of Islands were the first recorded poultry farmers in 1814. Many early settlers had a few hens in the backyard to supply eggs. These were the first birds to be introduced to New Zealand; since then, 130 bird species have been released in Aotearoa, with 41 successfully establishing wild populations. So why were they bought here?


The answer is for sentimental or utilitarian reasons; settlers missed seeing the familiar birds of home and hearing their songs, and thought certain feathered heroes would help them with farmland insect problems. In the hope of controlling agricultural pests, farmers introduced insect-eaters such as Magpies, Blackbirds, Thrushes, Starlings and Sparrows.


The introductions made sense in theory – but, once the genie was out of the bottle, unintended consequences quickly followed. Farmers soon discovered that the plagues of insects were replaced by platoons of birds stripping their grain crops and damaging fruit.


One of the birds chosen by the Acclimatization Societies to eat crop insects was the sweet little Yellowhammer, a coastal English bird introduced between 1860s and 1870s. Yellowhammers were initially warmly welcomed, but soon local farmers started to complain about the bird’s appetite for cereal crops. The Acclimatization Societies came under public pressure to get rid of the Yellowhammer, but it was too late, and Yellowhammers remain widespread across New Zealand today.


In the Whanganui region where I live, Peacocks are a relatively new pest. Native to India, Peacocks were first bought to New Zealand in 1843 as ornamental pets, but have gone on to establish wild populations.

Peacocks are now affecting crops, and farmers say they are hard to cull because they have become so elusive, cleverly remaining at a safe enough distance not to be an easy target for shooting. There is now a clear divide between those who see Peacocks as attractive, and those who view them as nothing but pests; careful management of Peacocks is now a topic on the agenda for Horizons Regional Council.

Species such as the Rainbow Lorikeet, Ring Neck Indian Parakeet and Galahs feature in public bird aviaries and some are kept as exotic pets, but they are unwanted freely flying about in Aotearoa.

In the 1990s Rainbow Lorikeets were illegally released in Auckland by members of the public. The Department of Conservation began eradicating the feral population in 2000, concerned about competition with native honeyeaters and the possible threat to pristine island habitats such as Little Barrier Island. MPI Biosecurity, in partnership with DOC and regional councils, now manages Rainbow Lorikeet under the National Interest Pest Response initiative. The aim of the response is to prevent Rainbow Lorikeets from establishing in the wild.

The Rook is also represented in this series. Rooks were introduced by Acclimatisation Societies in 1862-74, and are the only member of the crow family found in New Zealand in modern times.

Rooks are listed as an unwanted organism in New Zealand are the focus of eradication campaigns by several regional councils. Before their numbers were reduced, they were a serious problem to germinating arable crops such as maize, sweet corn, cereals, pumpkins, peas and apples. Rooks can also damage pasture by opening it up to thistles and other weeds while looking for grass grub.

Note:  In this exhibition the genie bird vessels with handles represent species that could establish uncontrollable wild populations, and compete with our native birds for food, nesting spots and territory, as well as inhibit agricultural production.


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This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Atlantis: a new series of sculptural works by Fran Dibble.

With nine works cast in bronze, and a single sculpture in cast iron, the Atlantis works portray an underwater world in which, in response to rising seas, nature and the human spirit adapt and carry on.


Atlantis - artist's statement

“The works in the Atlantis exhibition are a natural extension of an earlier series, The Beautiful Destruction.

The Beautiful Destruction series followed from my exhibition of the same name at Te Manawa Art Gallery in 2016.

That exhibition comprised a selection of multimedia sculptural forms, arranged at eye level on a large plinth, and a series of large paintings.

The Beautiful Destruction was certainly themed around the issues of climate change – one of the big events of our age – but the artworks, then and now, are intentionally from an objective standpoint. They do not attempt to preach, protest, or make a call to action. It is more about observations, seen from a position of wonder, awe and even with an admiration of the beauty of the events unfolding.

The first small sculptures I created after that exhibition are like small fairy tales. They depict landscapes where people have built houses and gardens on precarious branches and out-struts, or where seedlings are springing new life amidst piles of debris.

In the Atlantis works the battle against rising tides has been utterly lost and instead the cities are completely submerged underneath lily pads. But although it might seem all doom, these are not meant as apocalyptical warnings, but more visions of hope and adaptation.”

Fran Dibble (2022)

Exhibition runs until 27 March 2022 – gallery open 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday.

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Throughout September and October ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present an eclectic selection of art works from WHMilbank Gallery in Whanganui.

Beneath the following installation images is Bill Milbank's introduction to this extraordinary exhibition.


"Recently I was invited by Bronwyn Zimmerman to put together a body of work from my gallery to mark my many years of engagement with art in this region. Here is the result: a full gathering of groups of work that I hope presents aspects of the WHMilbank Gallery stockroom.

Those who curate generally either refine their selection to a few well-chosen works that get to the heart of the matter, or load the decks with a multitude of works that talk intimately with each other. I most often find myself falling into the latter camp, and this gathering of works is no exception.

I began as Exhibitions Technician at the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui in late 1975, and in 1978 I was appointed Director. Over 28 years I was very involved in the arts locally and nationally. During the late 1990s I was responsible for managing the design process for extensions to the Sarjeant Gallery and am delighted that it is of great credit to all of those who have driven the project to this exciting point.

I left the Sarjeant Gallery early in 2006, and WHMilbank Gallery came into being at the beginning of 2007. Until late in 2010 the gallery was at 17 Taupo Quay, then relocated to 2B Bell Street to occupy the Ancient Order of Druids Lodge – a significant Whanganui heritage building. From there I have maintained my programme of regularly changing exhibitions of local and national art, curating a variety of theme based shows and solo shows of work by selected artists.

The major focus of my large stock room was and continues to be New Zealand’s most significant expressionist painter Philip Trusttum and the walls are bedazzled with changing examples of his vibrant loose canvases. I am exploring ways in which this space can serve the artist well into the future.

I hope and trust that you will find this show of interest and that you may, as time allows, visit Whanganui and my gallery."

Bill Milbank, September 2021


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This month we've unlocked some eclectic art surprises for you.


We've been delving into the homes and studios of ZIMMERMAN artists looking for earlier works that, for one reason or another, the artists have kept.


And what a variety of treasures we've found!


Below are selected images, and a brief commentary on each artist's contribution to this month's exhibition.




Some of this month's exhibited works are intensely personal. Andrew Moon's Ebb recalls one of the artist's few memories of his father, who died when Moon was young. A boy stands looking out a window, hand raised toward a figure in uniform standing in the distance. "The rain on the window is just part of my obscured memory. He remains distant, unobtainable and obscured".


Tony Rumball's painting, Part of the Revolution, also features the artist from his younger years, "back in the day when I could still do handstands". Drawing inspiration from Marc Chagall's ambitious work from 1937, The Revolution, an energetic Rumball shows off his athletic skills, effortlessly balancing on one hand.


A series of paintings by Elspeth Shannon also playfully pays tribute to art luminaries and designers, tipping a hat to Manet, Rimbaud and David Trubridge. Meanwhile Cam Munroe acknowledges the influence of New Zealand artist Simon Kaan in her 2006 painting, Liquefaction.


Lee-Ann Dixon's oil painting, using a found wooden table top as her canvas, acknowledges the passing of time and life's transience. 

The paintings of Ian Chapman and Paige Williams dive into surreal territory; Williams' odd-eyed Pink Coyote fearlessly holds our gaze, while Chapman's subjects peacefully slumber in Lucid Dreams.


Birds take centre stage in the sculptural ceramic works of Angela Tier and Kirsty Gardiner. Tier's anthropomorphic magpie appeals for help in a time of climate change. With one arm extended, the other is held behind her back - with fingers crossed - hoping we heed her plea. Gardiner's splendid birds, elegantly memorialized in wall plaques, are also a reminder of the preciousness and precariousness of nature, their princely profiles watching and wary.  
The earliest work in the exhibition is a 1993 painting by Fran Dibble, a comment on the oddity of collections and collecting. It features a butterfly trapped in a frame, and a page from a stamp collection of insect pictures, the latter "flying" by quite a different means when being sent out on letters.
Naga Tsutsumi takes the prize for the most recently completed works in this month's exhibition - the artist was still making changes this week to his two earlier oil paintings.  

The smallest work in the exhibition is Michele Irving's applique and embroidery wall hanging, That Night, Rabbit Went for a Walk.


The largest work by far is an impressive 3 metre long painting on loose canvas, created by Prakash Patel in India during an artist residency in 2006. Titled City of Light, Patel's painting seeks to incorporate the multi-sensory feeling of wandering through the narrow streets and alleyways of Chandni Chowk, one of the busiest markets in Old Delhi. A documentary on Patel's India residency is featured on https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/out-of-darkness-out-of-india-2007



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This month we’re going RETRO, with a celebration of Fran Dibble pots painted in the 1980s and 90s.

As Fran and Paul Dibble haven’t painted pots for many years, we hope you’ll enjoy this colourful blast from the past.

Fran kindly provided the commentary for this month's exhibition, which is set out beneath the images. We hope you enjoy this colourful blast from the past!


“Paul was the instigator of Dibble pottery.

It started when he was married to his first wife Patricia (nee Burke). This was the early 1980s, a period when not only was New Zealand art starting to come of age but when there was a strong emphasis on craft; spinners and weavers abounded as well as potters, with enthusiastic participation at all levels.

There sprung up a variety of craft, amongst them small pottery studios where people could buy slip-cast “greenware” (unfired shapes made using liquid clay in a mould), decorate the clay using supplied glazes, and the studio would fire them for you.

The shapes the studios supplied were simple forms, of which I remember only four – a large ‘ginger jar’, a simple bowl, a plate, and a small ceramic box with a lid. It was a craft idea where people could come and get immediate results with minimal skills and without much investment required.

The objects made in these pottery studios were, most often, fairly average. But Paul took this technology and used it to create something special.

The adapting of popular technology is common in artistic practice. It can be seen in the use of encaustic by Jasper Johns and Lichtenstein with his stencils. More recently, New Zealand artists such as Virginia King have used computer-generated CNC machining techniques, and computer printing scans are employed by James Cousins, Chris Heaphy and Sara Hughes.

Paul’s immediate interest in slipware pottery was spurred from a love of the work of Clarice Cliff. At the time the value of the famous ceramicist was largely unappreciated in New Zealand. Paul would pick up pieces for often just a few dollars, at garage sales and second-hand shops. Although moving several times when first coming to Palmerston North, Paul had amassed quite a collection.

The bright cheerful colours appealed to him; paintings that were (then) inexpensive and moved with him easily. Cliff’s vivacious style and her overlap with the work of artists of her time made her pottery of great interest to Paul, and he created his own new versions of Cliff works from the 1930s and 40s.

Another part of Paul’s interest in pottery was for Patricia (Trish), who was a highly creative woman known best for her work in fashion design. Trish had serious health issues, and pottery gave her a focus, with a flexibility of working hours so it could be undertaken in periods when she felt well. Trish’s pottery was marketed mainly at the shop “Real Time” on Ponsonby Road, which was something of an icon in the 80s art scene.

Paul extended the slipware available at the time by creating his own shapes, the most dynamic being a zig zag form influenced by Brancusi columns. Paul employed patternmakers to make wooden ‘positives’, from which he made the plaster moulds into which he poured the liquid clay.

Sadly Trish died in 1983. In the following years Paul continued to work with pottery; sometimes with friends or some of his students, even teaching a neighbour, an immigrant from Holland, who was trying to establish work to gain residency.

After Paul and I married in 1985, I slotted into the domestic routine, and started to create my own pottery pieces.

I helped pour the clay shapes (by this stage we made all the slipware), cleaned them up and even helped design some new forms – one a piece with wide fins, and another a bowl balanced on round balls.

The designs painted by Paul always had a strong spatial and conceptual strand. On one of the zig-zag columns he illustrated workers on a skyscraper building the pot they featured on, a design owing something to the work of artist Fernand Léger [NB: this pot is featured in the images above]. I also remember a very graphic piece depicting two zebras encircling the vase.

On one piece swimmers swam around the circumference of a large sphere; another work depicted a Jesus figure walking on water, a whale under the water acting as invisible support. Paul’s work often contained these elements of humour, and this was a part of the joy of the pottery. It wasn’t as serious a pursuit for Paul as sculpture, so was a place to have some fun.

My biggest contribution in this media was in the shift from slipware to decorating wheel thrown shapes.

The first pots were thrown by Tony Reardon, who lived just outside of Palmerston North in an isolated area near Ballance, where he could fire his wood fuelled kilns and even dig some clay out of the earth. There was always a layer of fog around his house, so it perhaps wasn’t surprising when he eventually left to go to Centrepoint commune in Auckland.

Tony was known especially for his particularly beautiful teapots which poured so well. He was very generous with his time, and we conceived of a joint exhibition at the Manawatu Art Gallery in 1991, in a small gallery room on the ground floor (now replaced with the elevator shaft).

The exhibition was designed to show the two different philosophies (and how different the two pots looked); Tony’s wood fired pieces in natural colours against the works I had painted of scenes and settings in bright colours.

We were going to set the exhibition up like a giant shop window display, the likes of Collinson & Cunninghame (Palmerston North’s department store at the time). But at the last-minute Tony pulled out, and I had to stage it solo.

Later I worked with Stephen Schofield of ‘Rocket Pottery’ and then started using pots thrown by my mother, Joan McIntosh, who had taken pottery up in retirement after leaving medicine.

There were a variety of places the pots were sold; sometimes in exhibitions (such as at the New Vision Craft Gallery at the bottom of Queen Street), but more often as regular stock (the most successful being at the Craft Council of New Zealand on the Terrace in Wellington).

The production was ramped up not just because the pottery suited me, but also as it was a home-based enterprise, where I could earn money to contribute to the family income. Although I had a part time laboratory job (later exchanged for a teaching position at the polytechnic) I had young children to care for. This became more significant when, after losing a baby to cot death, the next child (Phoebe) was advised to use a breathing monitor. Childcare centres were not happy to use the monitor, or to allow her to sleep on the premises.

So, apart from teaching in the evenings when Paul was home, I spent most of my time at home. Many of the designs I painted on pottery were themes that were a sort of celebration of domesticity – playful chickens and roosters, gardens and, most typically, table settings: plates of food on checked tablecloths, a play on the irony of bowls depicting bowls. My later designs used bands of eclectic patterning, with a mixed bag of cultural motifs, allowing for the use of fluid brush strokes. These were probably my most successful works.

Decorating the thrown pots with bright colours and scenes did cause a degree of backlash that I hadn’t expected. The Yamada vision of pottery – natural forms and glaze effects – was somewhat sacrosanct amongst studio potters, and a lot of people spurned my designs at the time. But other people really enjoyed them, seeing them as a fresh new take on pottery.

A mixture of events led Paul and I to stop painting pottery.

The government dropped import tax in the 1990s, meaning that suddenly cheap goods rushed into the country at prices far less than could even be spent on materials alone.

Personally, my own efforts in painting had started to take on more significance, and was where I was focusing energy; my children were now all at school, and I was teaching half time and setting up new courses.

But most significant of all was that Paul’s bronze sculpture had started to flourish and we began to build up the foundry business, where I was learning new skills in welding, mould-making, waxwork and smelting.”

Special thanks to the people who made available from their collections the works on display this month.



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New art is always arriving at ZIMMERMAN – and this month is no exception. 

We're exhibiting new works by Angela Tier, Sean Crawford and Ian Chapman – on display now until Sunday 27 June. Come take a look!





Angela Tier - coiled stoneware sculptures:

She does not know how, but they found her

This installation of three cat figures reflects on the feelings experienced on receiving a diagnosis of terminal illness.


The relationship between the figures is a reminder of the mortal cycle of birth, life, and death; the child-like winged spirits stand ready to guide the central mother figure on a journey from which she will not return.


An unpleasant dream
Will I wake up tomorrow?
They have come for me
Going to yonder
I see the clouds gathering
Where the winged cats fly


Exhibited as a single installation for the 2021 Whanganui Patillo Arts Review at Sarjeant Gallery, now the sculptures are individually available … and preparing to travel to their new homes.


Angela Tier - photographic image:

She who haunts me


Before 2016, photography was the key focus of Angela Tier's studio practice.


In the photographic portrait She who haunts me, the artist reflects on the desire, from our colonial past, to import exotic birds to New Zealand.


Peafowl were imported in the 1840s as ornamental birds. Only a few people could afford to keep them as pets, or to pay for taxidermy so the birds could be proudly displayed after death.


The peacock, in particular, is symbolically associated with vanity; the character of which is reflected in the model's haughty expression and pose.


The majestic, exotic feathers adorn her like an elaborate cloak, a pelt she wears with pride, reflecting her thoughts as to her social status.


The work can be viewed as a reflection on attitudes from times past, and their relevance and place today. 


As to the fate of peafowl - the birds brought to New Zealand have long since escaped captivity, and feral populations have established in the wild.


Some local farmers now consider them to be pests, and are seeking to find ways to tackle the perceived peafowl problem.


Sean Crawford – steel sculptures:


Lost in Translation


Direct from the studio of Wairarapa artist Sean Crawford are three new wall-mounted steel sculptures: Kowhai, Whero and Kikorangi.


- Kowhai features a standard Police issue glock, fashioned from yellow kowhai flowers. 


- Whero is a stylised section of a prison door, composed from bright red pohutukawa blooms.


- Kikorangi takes the form of a surveillance camera, fabricated from kopakopa (Chatham Island forget-me-nots).


The artist says "I remember, as a school aged child, my introduction to learning Maori. Being taught colours was a cultural gateway to understanding. Within this series of works, I have approached that colour reference as ‘primary swatches’, blocks of colour that pass their reference point without misinterpretation. 


I have chosen to use botanical motifs in these works to highlight an innocent exchange, native flower to colour. This also strengthens the idea that a balanced respectful exchange of cultures incorporates indigenous people, and the flora and fauna of the land.


As the flowers become corrupted in form and meaning, they are subverted to shapeshift into objects of oppression. These manifestations (or distortions) reflect a reality of restriction, repression and persecution, as humanness becomes ‘lost in translation’.”


Ian Chapman – new paintings: celebrating curves!


Rounding out the featured works this month are the quirky and colourful paintings of Ian Chapman.


Recently Chapman discovered Hilda, a "plus-size pin-up girl" who gingered up American calendars from the 1950s to the 1980s.


Created by illustrator Duane Bryers, the rambunctious redhead was a fun and energetic country girl, not at all shy about her plump body and often engaged in innocent escapades.


In Chapman's hands, the voluptuous leading lady features in the most surreal situations, yet seems blissfully unaware of the strangeness of her curious – and often dangerous - circumstances.


In Two Can Play at That Game, Chapman borrows the iconic imagery of a carefree girl on a tyre-swing. But Chapman transports us to a frightfully fantastical setting, in which the shapely swinging lady is airily held aloft by a king-sized toucan. Just what will happen to our suspended star, when the big-billed bird opens his great beak?


In another uncommon scene, Don't Look Down, a bikini-clad babe focuses on balancing upside-down on a tortoise shell. So intense is her concentration she seems unaware of the golden snub-nosed monkey perched on her feet ... or of the gravity-defying feat of the tortoise beneath her, steadying himself on four spindly stands.


And when night falls, we might expect our adventurous heroine to at last be safely tucked up in bed. Instead, the red-haired vixen appears to be staying up late, reading from a well-thumbed copy of Fox in Socks, to an enormous fox who has comfortably curled himself around her fleshy thighs …


Gallery open hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday – come take a look!


Featured images:


Angela Tier


She does not know how, but they found her, coiled stoneware sculptures: central black cat 530 x 330 x 250 mm / blue and green winged cats each approximately 310 x 270 x 180 mm


She who haunts me, Ilford gold fibre silk A2 print framed with museum glass, 700 x 490 mm (including frame)


Sean Crawford


Kowhai (yellow glock), fabricated laser cut steel with automative paint render, 400 x 400 x 40 mm


Whero (red prison cell door), fabricated laser cut steel with powder coat render: 400 x 400 x 50 mm


Kikorangi (blue surveillance camera), fabricated laser cut steel with powder coat render: 400 x 400 x 290 mm


Ian Chapman


Two Can Play at That Game (with toucan), acrylic on canvas, 910 x 610 mm


Don’t Look Down (with tortoise), acrylic on canvas, 910 x 610 mm


Now We Come to Ticks and Tocks, Sir (with fox), acrylic on canvas, 710 x 560



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This month's exhibition is WET: works by Palmerston North powerhouse creative couple, Fran and Paul Dibble. 

The exhibition features a series of recent waterfall sculptures by bronze artist Paul, and selected paintings and sculptures by Fran.



WET: artist statement

"Water has always been the most magical of substances. Making lakes and seas it hosts new worlds submerged.

Billowing clouds can fill the skies; rain falls to nurture or cause floods of destruction. It can be the soft dew of morning, or in rivers moving in torrents to carve rocks into valleys.

In awe we stand near the magnificence of a waterfall, making humans suddenly very small.

So it becomes an obvious, if not the obvious, subject for art - lending as symbol for the landscape, for great power, from the ordinary."

Paul Dibble waterfalls

“Waterfalls are a pertinent part of New Zealand art history. Ours is a mountainous country and falling water is a distinctive feature.

The Colin McCahon waterfalls are our icons, this pouring of water heavy with religious overtones, offering a blessing on the land.

In Dibble’s waterfall sculptures, as if a silent eulogy to water, the element is portrayed as completely stilled; a luxuriant oozing over the hillside rather than a dynamic splash.”

Adapted from “Paul Dibble X: A Decade of Sculpture”, by Fran Dibble (2020)

Paul Dibble – brief bio

Born in 1943, Paul studied at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, graduating with a BFA (Hons) in Sculpture.

Paul has produced a number of significant commissions, and received high acclaim for his significant work for the New Zealand Memorial in London’s Hyde Park Corner.

Paul was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts from Massey University. He became an Honorary Fellow of Palmerston North’s Universal College of Learning (UCOL) in 2012, and in 2019 was received into Manawatu’s Te Aho Tāmaka programme, celebrating Manawatū leaders.

Fran Dibble – brief bio

Born in Connecticut (USA) in 1962, Fran immigrated to New Zealand with her family as a teenager.

Fran holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and Botany, a M.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry and a BA in Philosophy. Her interest in these disciplines informs her artistic practice, encompassing both painting and bronze casting.

Fran has long been fascinated by water, “something small and commonplace that has had such a grandiose effect in creating the landscape.” Recent works depict moody skies over seas, juxtaposed against scenes from nature and more abstract panels. 

In 2007, Fran was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to art. She became an Honorary Fellow of Palmerston North’s Universal College of Learning (UCOL) in 2012, and in 2019 was received into Manawatu’s Te Aho Tāmaka programme, celebrating Manawatū leaders.


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For the month of April 2021, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present selected works from the private collection of a local art enthusiast, simply known as “SAS”.

SAS is a local business owner who we’ve come to know well at ZIMMERMAN through a shared passion for contemporary New Zealand art. SAS’s collection of paintings, sculpture, photography and ceramics is both extensive and eclectic, and incorporates works by emerging, mid-career and established artists.
This is an absolute "must see" exhibition - with more than 100 works by more than 50 New Zealand artists.
While none of these works are for sale, we hope this insight into a “real person’s” art collection will assist you in deciding how to begin, or expand, an art collection of your own – and we’re happy to help with any questions you have. 
The images below are just a taste of what is in store for you this month - come take a look!  

 Gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday  

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For the month of March 2021, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present WHITE: a group exhibition. 


WHITE: a group exhibition

Ten artists independently responded to this month's exhibition theme, resulting in an eclectic gathering of works:

Angela Tier – The Disciple, The Assistant and The Admirer - three haunting white rabbits built from coiled stoneware

Cam Munroe – “Windows” – a series of small abstract paintings in ornate white frames

Fran Dibble – “The White Garden”, an oil painting on board of white on white with a tapestry of small colour variations

Michele Irving – cute and quirky textile brooches: The White Rabbit, Fox Rides Polar Bear and Werewolf Bride

Kirsty Gardiner – a selection of ceramic works inspired by museum collections and objects collected over time

Lee-Anne Dixon – meticulously painted moths and butterflies on vintage ware

Naga Tsutsumi – “Wearing White”, an ethereal acrylic painting mounted on board

Tony Rumball – selected oil paintings featuring the artist’s distinctive white painted borders

Anna Korver – a large wall installation, featuring an ascending flight of stylised white birds

Prakash Patel –  “Night Bloom”, a shimmering acrylic painting on canvas

All works are individually available - come take a look!

This month's exhibition runs until 28 March. Gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday  

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This month's exhibition is The Crowded Garden by Palmerston North artist Fran Dibble. 



The Crowded Garden


“The Crowded Garden” is a title adapted from the famous phrase of Darwin’s - “the crowded bank”. For that was the place to look for evolutionary mutations; a place teaming with life where resources are under pressure, giving rise to competition. It is the place where things happen.

But without the back story the exhibition title is an apt straightforward description - these are “crowded gardens”, a profusion of growth and layering, busy chaotic corners where plants push past and across each other reaching for sunlight.

It creates an expressive tapestry and, as counterpoint, perfect spheres are placed within the compositions, not added afterwards but built up in the construction as if they are punched through into some internal domain.

The exhibition is a mix of two methods: oil works on board of a single scene, and mounted paper studies where abstracted pieces are mixed with the foliage. These garden sections (alongside stripes, scenes of seas and floating orbs), contain some tropical scenes inspired by a Cook Island trip early in the year 2020, just before the pandemic’s separation of the world was to begin. 

– Fran Dibble

This month's exhibition runs until 28 February. Gallery hours are 11am to 3pm Thursday to Sunday  


Brief artist bio


Fran Dibble holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry & Botany, a M.Sc. (Hons) in Biochemistry and a BA in Philosophy. Her interest in these disciplines informs her artistic practice, encompassing both painting and bronze casting.

Fran’s paintings - sometimes comprising works brought together as multiple panel assemblages - draw inspiration from the natural environment, as well as shapes observed under a microscope, and scientific theories such as principles of gravity and the diffusion of particles.

In 2007 Fran was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to art, and in 2019 was received into Te Aho Tāmaka, an initiative celebrating Manawatū leaders.

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To end the year and welcome the next, ZIMMERMAN’s summer exhibition is Light Forms by Prakash Patel.


For Prakash Patel, each new painting is an adventure of exploration, experimentation and discovery.

“I've always been fascinated by nature and its complexity. You can look up in to space, and it goes on and on. The same thing happens when you look through a microscope - there’s actually no point where it ends, it goes back into infinity again.”

Working across several canvases at the same time, Patel paints in a spontaneous manner, enabling each work to evolve intuitively. 

“I would say I’m not religious, but there’s something about painting that has a kind of spiritual aspect.”

“The act of painting becomes almost like praying, or a devotion to God. And then something happens, after a while, where you start to feel like the planets are lining up and everything starts to make sense.”

“I’m always searching for that moment: when everything makes sense, and is connected, from the microscopic world to the cosmos.”

Exhibition runs until 31 January 2021



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For the month of November 2020, gold continues to rise at ZIMMERMAN.

Last month ZIMMERMAN launched a GOLD exhibition, to celebrate the release of a new book by Fran Dibble - Paul Dibble X: A Decade of Sculpture.

This month, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to extend the exhibition, by welcoming a selection of new works - each conveying, in their own way, the preciousness, beauty or allure of GOLD.

Exhibition runs until Sunday 29 November.



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For the month of October 2020, ZIMMERMAN heralds the release of a book celebrating Paul Dibble's sculptural practice over the past decade.

To mark the launch, this month's exhibition brings together work by Fran and Paul Dibble with art work of other artists represented by the gallery.

Each work in this month's exhibition reflects the undeniable allure of GOLD.


"Paul Dibble X – A Decade of Sculpture" is a new book that covers a period of around ten years of Paul’s sculptural practice, from 2010 to 2020. 

“The publication provides a description of some larger commissions from this period but also gives an indication of the scope of Paul’s practice; a practice that does not tidily fit into the predicted trajectory of an artist biography, due to Paul’s appetite for many aesthetic forms and myriad ideas as to what art can be." - Fran Dibble

One distinctive body of work covered in the book is Paul’s gilded kowhai works, where 24 carat gold sheet is fixed onto bronze flower petals to mimic the golden blooms as they appear in the New Zealand bush. The book’s designer took up this theme, using gold foil throughout the publication on chapter headings and endpapers, making this new book an artwork in its own right.

Paul is not the only artist to employ gold in his artworks. For the month of October, ZIMMERMAN brings together work by Fran and Paul Dibble with that of other artists represented by the gallery … each portraying, in their own way, the beauty, preciousness and allure of GOLD.

Exhibition runs until 31 October 2020

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For the month September 2020, ZIMMERMAN is featuring a recently completed series of paintings by Tony Rumball. 

Created in the time of COVID-19 lockdown, the paintings reflect the challenges of this strange time – when artists made best use of the art materials and subject matter at hand, and maintained the required social distance from strangers.

Rumball describes the paintings created in this uncommon environment as follows:

“Some of the paintings are yellowish (short of oils), odd sizes (short of canvases) and strangely devoid of people from when abruptly, we couldn’t buy materials and were told to get off the beach and stay at home for that balmy 2020 autumn.


It was time to paint the animals albeit anthropomorphically.”

The resulting works are both bright and evocative. While the humans meekly shelter at home, the animals boldly assume centre stage.

Taking up their place in a few swift strokes, the animals stand, blissfully oblivious to any risk as they bask in the open air.

Exhibition runs until 27 September 2020

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For the month August 2020, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present the creative culmination of months of research and experimentation by Palmerston North artist Naga Tsutsumi.


Already well known for his charcoal art works, this month Tsutsumi presents a dramatic exhibition of new large drawings, created by the artist from his own locally made totara charcoal.



Long Distance Travel to Manawatu


Artist’s statement

I am so Japanese that I don’t consider my art work to be “made in New Zealand”, even though it physically is.

The materials I’ve used in my drawings over the years are all sourced from overseas: charcoal from the UK or Japan, paper from Italy, France or the USA, charcoal erasers from Germany and Japan, and stumps and blenders from China. 

It makes me wonder: if I draw as I do now, and using the same materials when I am in another country, then where is that art work really from? Somehow, regardless of where my drawings are made, they can perhaps be considered Japanese, as this is the background culture and heritage that I carry with me.

Because I live in New Zealand, and make my work here, I wanted to use a tool or material also made in this country. In this sense it’s fortunate that I mainly work with charcoal rather than paint; it would be extremely difficult to make my own paints and brushes from local resources. But charcoal can be more readily produced - if you set fire to tree branches, then you have charcoal (not necessarily of a quality fit for drawing, but the basic material is there).

I experimented with test firings using various kinds of wood, including rimu, oak and cherry, before choosing totara as the material for making my own charcoal. It’s a little less flexible and versatile than the widely used commercial willow charcoal, but it’s good and solid enough to achieve my desired depths of blackness and greyness, and for tonal gradation. And even the less positive aspects of totara charcoal – such as a tendency to be powdery – have posed challenges that have simply motivated me to overcome them, and make it better.

Moreover totara charcoal sounds so New Zealand; this makes me feel confident I’m truly creating “New Zealand art”.

My original concept for this exhibition was to produce a series of New Zealand forest drawings, particularly ones with totara trees, using totara charcoal. 

But as I walked in nearby bush and took photos, I realised it wouldn’t make for a meaningful work to simply transfer natural imagery to paper; it would only be a copied picture. And I always like to create something that reflects myself, even if this is not obvious on the surface.


So I started to place actors on the paper, doing their own ad-libs. And now, with the presence of these life forms, the forests in the drawings seem to have their own life too.


Naga Tsutsumi’s charcoal making project was made possible with the support of the Earle Creativity and Development Trust. The artist extends his special thanks to the Trust, and to all the other people who so generously gave their advice, assistance, inspiration and materials in support of this experimental creative project.

Exhibition runs until 30 August 2020


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For the month July 2020, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Soar by Whanganui artist Angela Tier. 



Angela Tier: Soar 

Angela Tier has brought together a series of ceramic statuettes and larger-than-life photographic portraits, in an exhibition reflective of preservation and beauty.

Standing in a line, on a long plinth, are the assembled ceramic works, a series inspired by New Zealand birdlife. Suggestive of ancient objects, Tier created these sculptures using the age-old “coiling” technique.

Of a more unearthly nature are the works on the gallery walls; four poignant portraits, photographic images that evoke the documentation of bird specimens.

Tier’s gathering together of the various bird species in this exhibition is inspired by two places where native, endemic and introduced birds reside together: Bushy Park Sanctuary and the Ruatiti Valley.

Below are the artist’s reflections on spending time at each of these special locations.

Bushy Park Sanctuary


“Bushy Park is not far from my home. It was bequeathed to the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society in 1962 by George Francis (“Frank”) Moore, and has become a paradise for birds.”

“With 100 hectares of predator-free virgin lowland forest, our native birds have more chance here of successfully raising their young; species such as the Hihi (Stitch-bird), Tieke (Saddleback), and Toutouwai (Robin) are a treat to see, and these species all feature among the ceramic objects in this exhibition.

At Bushy Park I feel as if I’ve been transported back in time, into a forest that our ancestors might have once wandered in, hearing similar bird songs and seeing the abundance of life among the trees.”

Ruatiti Valley


“A little further from home is the Ruatiti Valley, a rugged harsh wilderness surrounded by farmland. In the heart of the valley lies the Old West Town, a place at which I was privileged to work for two years.

In this beautiful eerie valley, daily encounters with bird life vary from Tui, Miromiro (Tomtit), Korimako (Bellbird), to the uncommon Koekoea (long-tailed Cuckoo) and rare Whio (Blue ducks) who keep returning to the same place along the stream.

At twilight the place comes alive with the sounds of Ruru (Morepork), in what seems like a surround-sound conversation, calling out to each other from opposing shadowy hills.

In the dark of the night, you can hear the high-pitched piercing call of the male kiwi, and the low gravelly growl of the female responding to the cry of her companion. Sometimes other kiwi chime in, letting rivals know where their territory is.

The sparkle of the night sky is so magical and unpredictable, much like the life in the land beneath it.

The area in the Ruatiti Valley around the Old West Town is a place of paradox; it has both a haunting history and a magical serenity. There are dangerous hidden tomo (deep chasms in the ground), and around the campfire folk tell tales of buried treasure, and of the ghosts seen wandering there.

It’s a setting where time seems to stop; without connection to a digital world, it becomes a place of relaxation, adventure and discovery. You can disconnect from the anxiety of everyday modern life, and follow tracks into the bush to find a new kind of existence growing everywhere you turn. 

There are also remnants of people that once hunted, lived or got up to mischief there.

The spirit of this place is carried by the photographic images in this exhibition, each being common birds from the Ruatiti Valley that were gifted to me; a native Kotare (Sacred Kingfisher) and Pipiwharauroa (Shining Cuckoo), an endemic Kereru (Wood Pigeon), and an introduced species called the Yellowhammer, which was brought here in the mid to late 19th century by the British Acclimatization Society.

The photographic portraits of these birds echo their once soaring wings, immortalizing their delicate beauty while remembering their free spirits, which may still linger in the mysterious valley air.”

Soar by Angela Tier runs until 31 July 2020


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For the month June 2020, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Beneath the Surface – an exhibition of paintings by Vicky Lord. 



Vicky Lord: Beneath the Surface 


Vicky Lord’s artistic practice reflects on current events and social concerns.

This exhibition, begun as a response to coral degradation and destruction, has translated into a deeper reflection on the impact of humankind, while expressing hope for a new direction.

“There will be many who use their positions in politics, commerce, activism or other channels to bring about change. I’ve chosen to use my paintings to talk about important issues, and to share some of what is going unsaid."

“Our oceans are suffering. A silent suffering of imbalance. Coral reef bleaching is just one of the red flags the ocean is putting up, and we need to take notice and action. And I say ‘our’ oceans, not to be possessive, but to claim responsibility - both for the damage, and for the change needed to positively affect this defining challenge of my generation.”

“What has transpired, in the creation of these works, is a deep exploration of my own core. A need for carefully managed well-being and balance in a human sense, that is no different to that of our oceans.”

The resulting exhibition is a performance of sorts, a playful dance of biomorphic shapes, softly buoyed and brought to light from watery depths. A calming choreography of colour and form, the collected nine works are a celebration of life, and an expression of hope for our future.

Exhibition runs until 28 June 2020

About Vicky Lord

Vicky Lord’s background as a designer is evident in the graphic qualities of her paintings.

A graduate of Massey University School of Design (BDes, First Class Honours), the Auckland-born and raised artist now lives in New Plymouth with her husband and two young children.


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For the months April and May 2020, ZIMMERMAN is showcasing TEN: an exhibition marking the 10 year anniversary of ZIMMERMAN in Palmerston North.



April marks the 10th anniversary of ZIMMERMAN … and what a journey it’s been.

In a world where nothing is certain, and in a time where every day brings change, it’s with great relief and thankfulness that I look back on a decade of being part of the visual arts in Palmerston North.

There have been times of hard slog, stress and much sadness, but there have also been times of great joy, excitement and celebration.

And I’ve experienced all manner of changes and challenges over the past decade – some close and personal, others that have played out large and in public. 

But through it all – the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s my hope and belief that all things work together for the best (even if it doesn’t always feel that way at the time).

And what time could be much more difficult than now, with a nationwide lockdown?

But where there’s a will there’s a way, and I'm delighted to confirm that the lights are on 24/7 at ZIMMERMAN. (Yes, it was a bit of a scramble, but I managed to mount the TEN exhibition just hours before lockdown came into effect).

So Palmerston North residents out and about in April and May – whether taking fresh air or on essential business – will be able to view the anniversary exhibition, TEN, at any time day or night through the gallery’s front windows.

And whatever the future may hold, I remain positive about the power of art to give people hope and to provide points of connection.

So it's with sincere gratitude that I extend a special thanks to each of you who have supported ZIMMERMAN, and the talented artists the gallery represents, in your own different ways over the last 10 years.

It is because of you that we are still here, shining bright into a new decade.

Stay well, stay strong, and stay connected.

Bronwyn Zimmerman
Owner / Director


TEN – the exhibiting artists


Cam Munroe - Recap, mixed media on canvas, 152 x 90 cm

One of the first contributions to the anniversary exhibition was “Recap” by Cam Munroe. This fascinating painting is an eclectic selection of factoids from the past 10 years.


Who knew 2015 was the year in which the DNA of a woolly mammoth was spliced into an elephant, and in which we developed an Ebola vaccine?

Angela Tier - The Archeologist, The Alchemist, The Believer, coiled stoneware, each 34 cm high

While Munroe’s painting reflects on the past 10 years, Angela Tier’s stoneware sculptures look forward to what can be achieved in the decade ahead.

Tier’s sculptures are inspired by scientist Beth Shapiro’s book, “How to clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction”.

Three ibis birds, "The Archaeologist, The Alchemist and The Believer", stand together in a pseudo prophetic attempt to bring back our native birds from extinction.

With visages eerily reminiscent of the beak masks worn by doctors during the bubonic plague, each bird brings its own element to the attempted resurrection: like Dr Frankenstein, who collected parts to reignite life into the bones and flesh of his creature.

Will their attempts at de-extinction within a decade be wonderful, or will it be disastrous?

Naga Tsutsumi - Alchemist, Anarchist, charcoal on paper, 98 x 71 cm

Palmerston North artist Naga Tsutsumi reflects on his own art marking in the last 10 years, in his striking charcoal drawings, "Alchemist and Anarchist".

Over this time charcoal has become a key part of his “art life”, and the characters portrayed here conceptually represent aspects of his art processes. The alchemist relies on skill and learning to make her way, while the anarchist fights against whatever obstacles stand in his path.

Prakash Patel - Violet Mountain, acrylic on canvas, 101 x 152 cm

Any ZIMMERMAN milestone would be incomplete without a work by Whanganui painter Prakash Patel, the first artist the gallery featured on opening its doors ten years ago.

Is it just my heightened imagination, or does Patel’s "Violet Mountain" look like a cluster of vibrant viruses viewed under a microscope?

Ian Chapman - Come in number 9, your time is up, acrylic on canvas, 61 x 91 cm

The gallery’s newest exhibiting artist, Ian Chapman, strikes a decidedly playful note with his contribution to the anniversary exhibition, cheerily farewelling the past years with “Come in number 9, your time is up”.

In Chapman’s wacky world, a collection of gravity-defying coracles breezily sail along mid-air, their colourful passengers enjoying the ride - for as long as it lasts.

Tony Rumball - Vroom, ink & acrylic on paper, 36 x 26 cm / Artworks, oil & ink on canvas, 30 x 30 cm 

Keeping it colourful is Tony Rumball, with his celebratory painting "Vroom" – a reminder of the speed with which the 10 years have gone, and revving the engine for a wild ride ahead.

But the world of art is not all colour and speed – a second Rumball painting, "Artworks", deftly sums up the business of owning an art gallery over the years: jobs, jobs, jobs then BINGO (you finally sell some art!)

Fran Dibble - Accolades, ten works in cast bronze

Fran Dibble is another artist who understands the vagaries of the art industry, and the challenging business of running a gallery. Fran and Paul Dibble have been full time artists for many years, and in that time have seen many galleries come and go. This month Fran acknowledges the gallery’s milestone with "Accolades", a collection of ten bronze floral tributes.

“At the end of a performance, when the performer comes out to take a bow, flowers are often pitched onto the stage. This is the audience making tributes, thank you presents for a job done well. These re-enacted small throwaways have been given permanence, cast into bronze. There is a different flower for each year, each made by hand-modelling, meticulously fashioning petals, stems and leaves, noting the diversity of form and structure.”

Elspeth Shannon - Small paintings, 10 mixed media works on canvas, each 25.5 x 25.5 cm

Painter Elspeth Shannon also responded to the anniversary exhibition with a collection of ten unique works.

Shannon’s petite paintings are evenly spaced across the gallery walls like a protective border, their abstracted rock forms suggestive of stacked pebbles, boulders and columns in alternating hues of brown, gold and grey.

Anniversary exhibition runs throughout April and May 2020


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For the month March 2020, ZIMMERMAN is delighted to present Gravity Sucks – an exhibition of paintings by Masterton artist Ian Chapman.



Ian Chapman: Gravity Sucks


A fascination with flight and fragility underpins Chapman’s first solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.


In a deep dark corner of my mind is the dream of flight, living in a true three-dimensional world that isn’t restricted to six feet above the ground. In a world where gravity doesn’t dictate our movements, where evolution can run rampant and life is a lucid dream where anything can be done with mere thought.”


In Chapman’s paintings an unlikely cast of characters is precariously suspended by bright red party balloons.


“Party balloons should be about fun. They look like they will last forever as we knock them through the air to each other. We do this knowing there is underlying fragility. In an instant they can be gone but we push them to their limits anyway. When they are pushed too far they don’t go lightly, they go with a bang, letting us know with their final breath that they were here (and maybe you should be more careful when playing with balloons next time).”


“Tie them to birds and whales in a dark and somewhat alien landscape and you have a statement, not just about the natural world we see on the telly but the almost impossible fragility that we all find ourselves in … that somehow, with seemingly blind luck, we manage to get through, every single day. Until, of course, we don’t.”


Ian Chapman - about


Born in Brighton, England, Ian Chapman trained in Visual Art at Masterton Polytechnic in the Wairarapa. Chapman has exhibited across New Zealand, from the Artist Room in Dunedin, to Auckland’s Pah Homestead, where Chapman was a finalist in the prestigious Wallace Art Awards (1994).


In 2019, Chapman’s solo exhibition A Song for the Uncoordinated was exhibited at Aratoi Museum of Art and History. Later that year Chapman received the Premier Award at the Wairarapa Art Review in Masterton.


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For the month February 2020 ZIMMERMAN is featuring Ghost Towns, an exhibition of new wall mounted works by Kate Elder.



Kate Elder continues her creative exploration of our built environment in this month’s exhibition, Ghost Towns.

The artist has used her Construction series as a starting point, to progress these latest works through various stages of urban decay; the works are stripped back, until all that is left is skeletal remains and the shadows they cast.

This is Kate's fourth solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.

About Kate Elder

Born in Wellington, Kate Elder holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Dunedin School of Art, majoring in sculpture.

After studying cabinetmaking in Spain, the artist spent a number of years working with furniture, before returning to art - using the skills and knowledge she had acquired over this period to refine her practice.  

"My work generally deals with the idea of landscapes: the preoccupation we have for controlling our environments, and what happens when our natural and constructed worlds collide.

Working in 3D, I’m conscious of the role that the viewer can play in animating an artwork. A viewer moving around a work can experience the dynamic quality of a sculpture, appreciating the changes that can occur from different viewpoints, and gradually making sense of the work through this movement."

Kate's work received the top award at the 2015 Mahara Gallery Arts Review, and the 3D Award in 2017.

In 2017 Kate was also a finalist in the prestigious Wallace Art Awards, and the Small Sculpture Prize at Waiheke Art Gallery.

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This month ZIMMERMAN is featuring The Signature of All Things, an exhibition of new ceramic works by Kirsty Gardiner.



“The Signature of All Things” is an epic novel by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Reviewer Elizabeth Day describes the novel as bringing to the fore “all those forgotten women of science, whose trailblazing work was swallowed up by more famous men. But it also asks us to consider whether a life lived in the shadows, comprising of a million, small, unnoticed actions, is worth any less than a life of big gestures and public recognition.”

When making the art works for this exhibition, Kirsty Gardiner played an audiobook of Gilbert’s novel in her studio, listening to the story unfold, as the artist fashioned each small object. In this sense “The Signature of All Things” has been a constant companion to these new pieces, a collection of ceramic works that combine elements of history with artist imaginings. 

“The signature of all things” is also a phrase associated with the writings of 16th century mystic, Jacob Boehme. Boehme discoursed on the law of signatures, a concept attributing hidden meaning to objects in the real world. Boehme believed that the natural world, by God’s design, holds the clues to show humans how to lead better, healthier, more enriched lives.

These three threads - an epic novel, a reviewer’s quote and a mystical concept – each intertwined in the artist’s mind to become a fitting title for the current exhibition.

Exhibition runs until 31 January 2020

Brief artist bio

Kirsty Gardiner has exhibited at public galleries and award shows throughout New Zealand for more than 20 years.In 2010 Gardiner’s work won the Premier Award at the Portage Ceramic Awards, New Zealand’s most prestigious ceramics prize. Gardiner subsequently received a merit award in 2011 and an honourable mention in 2016.

In 2013 Gardiner took out the Premier Award in the Wairarapa Review, and in 2015 the artist secured the Excellence Award in the New Zealand Society of Potters (NZSP) Elements exhibition. Gardiner went on to receive the 2017 NZSP
non-functional award at the national exhibition at the Quartz Museum in Whanganui.

Gardiner has held solo exhibitions at Te Manawa (Palmerton North), Aratoi (Masterton), Expressions (Upper Hutt) and Mahara Gallery (Waikanae). This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.

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For the month of November 2019, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Barely contained, new paintings by Wellington-based artist Elspeth Shannon.




"Barely contained” - Artist Statement


"I have always been inspired by 'things botanical', so it’s unsurprising that this current series has veered towards a loose abstract gathering of flower and leaf like forms.

The cyclical nature of plants could be likened to inspiration - it starts with a seed, grows rapidly, buds, blooms (often in glorious abandoned profusion), then gradually withers, but not before throwing out even more seeds to renew the cycle over again. It's this constant state of flux I've endeavoured to capture.” 

Elspeth Shannon, 2019

The exhibition of Elspeth Shannon’s new paintings runs from 1 to 30 November 2019.

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For the month of October 2019, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Vanished Travellers, new charcoal works by Palmerston North artist Naga Tsutsumi



Vanished Travellers - Artist Statement

“What is the role of food in an art work?  In many cases, it is either part of a still life, or an eating occasion such as a dinner or picnic setting, or maybe focussed on a particular brand, like Campbell’s soup ...

I am from Japan, which is well-known for good food, but I don't much care for Japanese food.  I prefer hamburgers and Chinese food. I like food that satisfies my empty stomach. 

When I was a starving university student, Japanese food was out of my reach. It was just too expensive, and I didn’t find it was particularly better than other available foods. Hamburgers and Chinese takeaways gave me the energy I needed to keep myself going and, like other Asian students at that time, I ate instant noodles (8 packs for a dollar!) to ease my hunger. 

For an installation work I created nearly 25 years ago, I made a shrine of noodles, with a can of Pepsi, and a huge painting on board to which I glued 100 packets of ramen noodles (I regretted at the time that I did not just eat them instead).    

I haven’t forgotten these hungry years and, as I still have a liking for those foods, I always wanted to do something with them in my art work.  But how could I make those things something significant, and not just part of a still life, or simply a scene of people eating?  My initial thought was to turn the food into a giant … but after completing a big hamburger drawing … it just looked like a big hamburger. 

So I introduced some figures. In doing this, the food started to become a place or a landscape. So my concept evolved as food being a place people travel to, somewhere in between the real and absurd worlds.

The relationships people and other animals have with food is ambiguous. It could cause controversial discussion, depending on how we perceive it … but to me, it is a curious subject, and one that gives me opportunity to express my appreciation for good, affordable food.”

“Vanished Travellers” is on display at ZIMMERMAN from 1 to 31 October    



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