Thursday, June 25, 2009

PN Artists- Paul & Fran Dibble

You have probably seen their art work around the city; at Te Manawa, the City Library, and Princess Street to name a few.

Paul and Fran Dibble are world renowned artists who have chosen to base themselves in Palmerston North. One of their most well known pieces is "The New Zealand Memorial for London" which is situated in Hyde Park. In 2005 Paul was announced the winner of a competition to create a memorial for New Zealand in London's Hyde Park. The NZ government paid up to $3 million to secure the site and have the memorial created.

The Dibbles originally came to this fine city as Paul had secured a teaching job at Massey.While teaching, the Dibbles started up their own art business. They found that Palmerston North's relaxed atmosphere was the perfect place to start their business, and work on their art while teaching at the same time. As the business slowly grew Paul and Fran were able to leave their jobs and focus full time on their art work. When they decided to start their family they found that Palmerston North was the best place to do so "... it worked very well with family, when they were young within a day I found I could get the kids to school, do some teaching, work in the business, get them to after school activities cook dinner, etc, which in a bigger centre would be pretty impossible. Also when the children were young I could fit in the odd university paper some years" Fran said.

They like the quiet side that Palmerston North has which a lot of other cities lack."We often go for walks in the Esplanade, it is a really lovely Victoria park that is often overlooked." They also love the stong sense of community that the city has about it, which is another reason they chose to start a family here.

Palmerston North has even insiperd some of their art work. You can see some of this on Princess street, the installment called "The Nectar Eaters" deals with the flax industry in Palmerson's past. Paul also did a series on Huia feathers, the last recorded Huia was apparently in this area, while Fran is currently doing some multi-paneled works that include the "Manawatu maidenhair", a fern unique to this region.

Next time you are walking around Palmerston North see if you can spot their amazing works of art!

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