Previous Exhibitions

June 2023 - Fran Dibble - The Islands & Soft Winds Blow

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.