Public Art Talk V with Paul Dibble & Bob Jahnke

Our fifth Public Art Talk (PAT V) took a small group of members, friends and Trustees on the road to the studios of sculptors Paul & Fran Dibble, and Robert (Bob) Jahnke in Palmerston North on Thursday 17 May. 

The visit was timed to coincide with a “pour” at the foundry/studio of Paul Dibble. Paul is one of the few New Zealand sculptors to cast their own bronze works.

Paul’s wife, Fran, explained the process as we witnessed the pouring of the bronze at 1100 deg into several molds. This process has changed little since ancient times. We were given free rein to roam around the foundry, cake and coffee in hand, where many molds of earlier works are stored.

Also on display was a major work commissioned to commemorate the military camp at Featherston.

Such large works are not cast on site but are outsourced to large industrial foundries.

Paul, Fran and staff were only too willing to explain the process involved from concept to creation of Paul’s beautiful works.

After lunch we walked to the Palmerston North Square — the site of several sculptures.

At the Square we were met by Robert (Bob) Jahnke next to his huia feather archway, Nga Huruhuru Rangatira, “the feathers of the chief”. This impressive 6.4 metre high work in ground stainless steel frames a view of the long standing statue of Te Peeti Te Awe Awe.

We then travelled to Bob’s studio on the Massey Campus where Bob is professor of Maori Visual Arts. Bob walked us through several rooms on campus where works of former pupils adorn the walls. In his studio Bob showed us some of his stunning light box installations.

For more information on Paul Dibble please visit:
For more information on Bob Jahnke please visit: