1493350205978 - Pair of huia appear in spontaneous act of Palmerston North place making

Pair of huia appear in spontaneous act of Palmerston North place making

A new Paul Dibble sculpture still warm from the foundry has landed in Palmerston North’s Main St.

The 2.7-metre tall work with two bronze huia birds on a Corten steel base appeared in a civic administration building courtyard just along from The Square early on Friday morning.

It sits opposite Zimmerman’s Gallery, where an exhibition of Paul and Fran Dibble’s works opens on Monday.

Bronwyn Zimmerman said the work was the centrepiece of the exhibition, and was intended to be put up outside the door.

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However, the veranda was going to get in the way, and Plan B was required, and the space across the road “where nothing has been happening for years” provided a solution.

Dibble’s earlier Ghost of the Huia sculpture on the traffic island outside Square Edge had required roading and other approvals before it could be installed as a permanent feature back in 2011.

Because the new work would only be in place temporarily, those formal processes had been bypassed, but Zimmerman said it had been put up properly and securely and in a way that did not damage the paving.

Fran Dibble said the sculpture was part of the Once There Were Huia tribute to Palmerston North, where the extinct native birds were last seen.

“It fits the show, but not the gallery,” she said.

“We planned to put it outside the gallery, but the way the veranda was overhanging, that was going to be technically quite difficult.

“It would have looked squashed.”

She said the decision to move across the road was taken in trust that the city council would accept it as an act of place making.

The Dibbles were pleased with the effect, with more air around the art, and with the urban setting.

The sculpture is for sale, with a price tag of $65,000.

Zimmerman said it had been quite a coup getting a significant Dibble work secured for a Palmerston North show before any other galleries or buyers snapped it up.

“It will likely end up somewhere else, other than in Palmerston North.

“I just hope it will be here long enough for people to enjoy.”