Previous Exhibitions

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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For the month of September 2019, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Ngā Māhuri o te Waoku, a new series of work by Palmerston North artist Tanu Aumua.




Ngā Māhuri o te Waoku - Generation Reo Slayers

Artist Statement

Matapoporetia te rau huia kai mua tonu i te aroaro. Tēnā ko te ōkākā me te ō manapou ērā ko tukuna iho e ō tātou kōhika mā. Nāia he whaitua o te waoku raima kia matapaki, kia wānanga ngā tameme mō tō tātou reo taketake. Mā ngā kākā tarahae o Te Aho Matua te ō e kawe ki te pae mamao.

While recent reports indicate an increased interest in te reo Māori language courses across the country, very few choose Te Aho Matua (Māori language medium schools) as an educational pathway for their children. Speaking te reo Māori is a lifestyle, and Te Aho Matua is a specific choice to maintain language excellence within a family.

If language excellence is to survive and adapt, how do we create a safe environment for it to flourish within its current climate? How do we make it vogue for the current “Generation Reo Slayers”?

The objective of the work in this exhibition is to provide a platform for engaging discussion on the merits of language revitalisation in the 21st century, and the importance of Te Aho Matua as a framework for elevating te reo Māori.

The gold leaf symbols denote the various historical events that have had major implications on the well-being of the language and still exist in our society today. The Victorian-style frames allude to Western constructs, and the struggle to work within the system to create positive change. The rendering of realistic scenery between layers of resin offers an insight for viewers into a Māori paradigm, where metaphoric references are inspired by nature. 

All works are acrylic paint, resin and 24 carat gold leaf in custom made frames with convex glass, 362mm high x 285mm wide.

First exhibited earlier this year at Upper Hutt’s public art gallery, Expressions Whirinaki, this exhibition is proudly supported by Creative New Zealand. 

Brief Artist Bio

Tanu Aumua holds a Master of Māori Visual Arts from Massey University.

In 2003, Tanu was offered opportunity to refine his craft and passion for teaching at Hato Pāora College in Fielding. After the birth of his first child, Tanu took up a teaching position closer to home at Manukura in Palmerston North, where he remains teaching today. His three children are all enrolled at Mana Tamariki, a unique community dedicated to te reo Māori.


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For the month of August 2019, ZIMMERMAN is featuring “Wings and Fur”, a new series of bug, bird and animal portraits by 22 year old Auckland artist, Paige Williams.


Paige Williams' paintings range from the realist to the surreal: lifelike small portraits of much loved native birds, the ruru and kārearea, sit beside paintings of creatures that are decidedly humanlike, both in dress and demeanour.

The largest and most detailed work in the exhibition is Collector.

The painting features a proud bunny with a gallery of assorted bugs; a truly curious juxtaposition, in which the young rabbit proudly poses in front of its collected specimens, each meticulously pinned and presented in a neatly framed insect box.

The work reflects the artist’s own passion for insects and spiders. On opposite sides of the painting are endemic specimens drawn from Paige’s personal collection: a New Zealand giant bush dragonfly on the right, and a tunnelweb spider on the left.

The spider, a harmless relative of the venomous Australian funnel-web, is drawn from a tunnelweb that Paige took care of “... for a long time, before it passed away.” Paige pinned and framed the dearly departed arachnid, which now permanently hangs on the wall above the artist’s easel.

Another specimen from the artist’s own collection is the five horned rhino beetle, depicted here behind the bunny’s ears. Tucked beneath the giant bush dragonfly is a Japanese giant hornet; the artist’s “shout out” to a famous YouTuber, who travelled to Japan to film himself being stung by one of these (kids, don’t try this at home!)

Other works in the exhibition take a playful poke at gender associations. Is the doe-eyed fawn, with a crown of flowers and frilly shirt, male or female? The artist, while painting the portrait, always viewed the deer as a boy, but others who view the painting often assume the fawn is a girl.

Gender associations are more cheekily asserted in the portrait of Tanuki. This character - the iconic Japanese racoon dog – has, since ancient times, been depicted in Japanese art, songs and statuary as having massive scrota. That background knowledge is helpful, when contemplating Paige’s portrait, in understanding why the mischievous tanuki proudly sports two prominent dangling bells.

Exhibition runs from 1 to 31 August 2019



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For the month of July 2019, ZIMMERMAN is featuring "Imaginary Places" - a series of shimmering new paintings by Whanganui artist 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.”

“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.”

For an interview with the artist published earlier this year in ArtZone, see https://confetticonfetti.co.nz/2019/07/02/from-one-end-to-the-other/


Brief artist’s bio

Born in Whanganui in 1968, it was not until 1978 that Patel first travelled to India, the land of his parent’s birth. There Patel experienced a richness and depth he had never felt before, which would subsequently draw him back on journeys of artistic discovery.

In 2006, supported by Creative New Zealand and the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Patel was awarded an artist’s residency at the Sanskriti Kendra Campus on the outskirts of New Delhi.

In 2012, again supported by Creative New Zealand, Patel visited the State of Gujarat, near his family’s ancestral origins, to study the paintings and artistic processes of the indigenous Warli people.

Patel continues to live and work in Whanganui, where he is a four time winner of the Whanganui Arts Review.

The artist has exhibited at ZIMMERMAN since the gallery first opened in early 2010.


Exhibition runs from 1 to 31 July 2019

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For the month of June 2019, ZIMMERMAN is hosting RED - an exhibition of works with a connection to the colour red.



What is red? The primal connotations of red include energy, danger and determination. This month’s exhibition draws on these associations, featuring works in a variety of media.


A painted steel sculpture by Sebastien Jaunas, simply titled “Red”, thrusts up and outwards in a sinewy twist. The work seems almost alive, its spindly tentacles fearlessly probing its surrounds.


A sense of exploration and energy is echoed by “Gusto”, an acrylic painting by Lorraine Rastorfer, with twisting gold tendrils stretching out across a sea of scarlet.


In Tony Rumball’s “Out and About”, a red-hot blaze surges from the Guy Fawkes’ night fire-pit, while in the distance a hapless farm animal looks on.


Not content to stand in the background, the young woman in Andrew Moon’s painting, “Brood”, stands centre-stage, arms firmly crossed as she glowers at any who might stand in her path. 


Defiance takes a more ominous turn in Angela Tier’s “Vladimir” (Putin) and “Donald” (Trump). Sculpted from stoneware, the Presidents are both depicted as eagles – the high flying king of birds, and symbols of government power. Their avian visages embody the determination - and danger – associated with these formidable heads of state.


Another stoneware work by Tier, a grey duck urn, scopes us with unnerving red eyes.  


The steeliness turns from metaphorical to literal in a metallic sculpture by Sebastien Jaunas. Simply titled “Why”, a fold of hand forged steel is brutally pierced by pointed rods. 


A large oil painting by Fran Dibble rounds out the exhibition. A lush botanical scene is unexpectedly interrupted by white spheres, splattered and smeared with bright blood red. The circles resemble, in part, the petri dishes a microbiologist or pathologist might use to examine a sample. Titled “Hidden and Beneath”, the work is both unsettling and compelling, inviting us to bring our own associations to the artist’s use of colour and form. 


The exhibition “RED” runs from 1 to 30 June 2019.

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For the month of May 2019, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting Blossom, a group art exhibition with a floral theme.



This month's group exhibition is in support of the national conference of the Floral Art Society of New Zealand. 


The Society is holding a competitive floral art exhibition on 4 and 5 May at the Palmerston North Conference & Function Centre. With the national exhibition being held within just a minute's walk of ZIMMERMAN, this month seemed an opportune time to host a complementary exhibition here, with flowers as the theme.  


ZIMMERMAN’s exhibition includes works by a number of regular gallery exhibitors.


Artists who have created entirely new work for the show include Kate Elder, Paul Dibble, Fran Dibble, Naga Tsutsumi, Katherine Claypole, Lee-Ann Dixon and Kirsty Gardiner. 


A selection of earlier pieces by other gallery artists also feature, including work by Anna Korver, Andrew Moon, Paige Williams, Tony Rumball, Angela Tier, Cam Munroe and Elspeth Shannon.


In addition to showcasing the work of artists already represented by ZIMMERMAN, this month is a fitting time to introduce the exuberant floral paintings of Auckland artist, Diana Peel. 


A first time exhibitor in Palmerston North, Peel initially worked in interior design. It was not until some 12 years later that Peel discovered the joys of painting.   


"I hadn't painted since university, but this time I couldn't stop. I had this desire to create and explore something hands on. I felt like I had to get it out of my system. My paintings are an emotional manifesto; a tool of self-expression and a reflection of my world".   


Peel is now a full time artist and art tutor, specialising in contemporary flower paintings.


With a mix of new and earlier works in a range of media, this month is an excellent opportunity to come and view a variety of art works at ZIMMERMAN. We hope you will find time to stop by to take a look!


Blossom runs at ZIMMERMAN from 1 to 31 May 2019 (open 11am to 3pm daily, free entry) 


The Floral Art Society competitive exhibition runs from 4 to 5 May at the Conference and Function Centre (adult entry $12 per person, children 12 and under free entry with a paying adult. Open from 10am both days)




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For the month of April 2019, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting "The Fallen", a series of new art work by Palmerston North artist Fran Dibble. 


Fran Dibble's exhibition comprises a mix of bronze works and paintings. Some of the bronze works are standalone objects, assuming the shape of falling leaves blowing across the gallery walls. A few of these bronze leaf forms appear to have lightly fallen to rest upon bronze books, while others are seemingly caught mid-flight, to become forever attached to the paintings on the walls.


Several of the artworks feature 24 carat gold gilding – an element the artist has incorporated in both paintings and sculpture in recent years.


The Fallen - artist's statement:

“I often think of the way the very common and mundane unite us in a shared experience, the simple treasures of the natural world creating delight across all the boundaries that now separate people – economic and political, educational levels and racial backgrounds – a world which might be more intermixed and meshed but somehow still managing to be fractionalized. It is a simplistic world view no doubt, and highly romantic, but one that I am happy to play with. 


An exhibition on falling leaves has this democratised ideal at its core, the experience of leaves fluttering from the skies enjoyed everywhere (or at least in places with deciduous trees).


The leaves are each individually copied from real counter-parts, modeled in wax using wax sheets before being cast in bronze. 


Leaves are very varied things, not just over the many species (sycamores, oaks, ginkgo, maples, plane trees, chestnuts and magnolia are represented here to name a few), but also in the different breeds within a species. They demonstrate a beauty and subtlety in things deemed value-less and transient.


In their own modest presence, they demonstrate the ‘big’ things in life too, like studies in physics demonstrating the passage of time with their drop each year, and the continual presence of gravity pulling things to earth.


The bronze leaves make up the main subject of the paintings, but they also flutter outside the frame to pitch down across the gallery walls, linking the artworks into a giant diorama.”


Exhibition runs from 1 to 30 April 2019


Brief artist 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. Fran’s interest in these disciplines informs her artistic practice, encompassing both painting and bronze sculpture. 


The artist draws inspiration from the natural environment, and scientific theories such as principles of gravity. Fran’s interest in bronze developed as part of her work with her husband, acclaimed sculptor Paul Dibble. 


Fran was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal for services to art in 2007, and in 2012 was made an Honorary Fellow of the Universal College of Learning in Palmerston North. 


Fran has exhibited with ZIMMERMAN since 2011.

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For the month of March 2019, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting "Spook", an extraordinary installation by Angela Tier (photographs by Richard Wotton)



To draw attention to the plight of our endangered native bats, pekapeka, Angela Tier has sculpted 100 small bat urns from coiled stoneware. Measuring between just 10 and 16 cm high, each bat is unique. Some are styled after existing bat species, while others are imaginary and playful, representing species not yet discovered.


Looming behind the 100 bats are four large apocalyptic bats, representing Pestilence, War, Famine and Death.


The installation is a reminder of the impact of humans on our environment. It is also a chance to reflect on the important role that even our smallest and rarely seen creatures play in our continued existence.


Artist’s statement


Bats! You may be scared if you saw a colony or cloud of bats pass overhead. You may think of blood-thirsty vampires or even rabies. Can you imagine a world without bats? Well, you most likely can. Living in New Zealand we rarely see them flying about at night.


Although bat sightings are uncommon here, bats make up almost one quarter of all mammals on the planet, and are essential to human survival. Just as important to humanity as honeybees, bats are pollinators for forests and fruits. They also help farmers by eating insects that would otherwise need to be managed by pesticides.


Bats are New Zealand's only native land mammals. There are three species: the long-tailed bat, the lesser short-tailed bat and the greater short-tailed bat. The first two species are at risk, while the third species is considered extinct, with no sightings since 1967.


Close to 100 species of bats are listed as endangered and vulnerable worldwide. This is due to many things, such as habitat loss, windfarms and introduced diseases. White nose syndrome is thought to have been accidentally introduced to a cave that tourists regularly visit and has subsequently spread through bat colonies across America. This disease alone has killed close to 600 million bats.


In New Zealand, habitat degradation and disturbance, as well as predation and competition from introduced mammals, are key factors implicated in bat population declines.


All the reasons why bats are under threat can be linked to one common factor: humans!


The changes humans are making have exacted a heavy toll on the natural world, and threaten the planet’s ability to provide for us all. The existence of life is a fine balance. It relies on wild species like bats to thrive, for other species (including humans) to survive.


This installation of 100 bat urns, and four looming apocalyptic bats, is a grave image of endangerment. It is a chance to reflect on the impact we have on our environment, and to consider those which we may fear, or allow to slip from our thoughts, as being vital to our continued existence.


Angela Tier – brief artist bio


Born in 1980, Whanganui-based artist Angela Tier holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction.


Tier’s sculptural works are hand built using the coiling technique, in which coils of clay are gradually stacked and joined one on top of the other. “I like working in the coils as it's a very old technique.”


Recent works have highlighted the plight of New Zealand’s extinct and endangered species. “It only takes a few centuries of human activity to have such an impact on the environment that we might lose these species forever.”


“Spook” is Tier’s first solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.


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For the month of February 2019, ZIMMERMAN is featuring selected oil paintings on canvas by Taranaki artist Tony Rumball.



Rumball’s paintings range from new to earlier works, including “Don’t mind if I do”, completed in 2008 but exhibited publicly for the first time this year.


The selected paintings brim with Rumball’s characteristic colour and humour.


In the optimistically titled “A Last Ciggie” a winged pig flies overhead, while the red-haired woman enjoys a few more puffs.


The playful diptych “Kids in Masks” depicts a group of youngsters having a riotously good time, dancing about the streets in their brightly hued shirts and hats.


“Steady Eddie” features a jauntily swinging plastic clown, brought face to chest with a voluptuous porcelain doll. Inspired by two miniature figurines in Rumball’s home, the composition places the unlikely pair in a comical encounter.


“Oops 2”, by its title, suggests an accident waiting to happen. A student server, absorbed in her own thoughts, distractedly carries a tray of food and drink – what could possibly go wrong?


The largest – and earliest – painting in the exhibition is “Don’t mind if I do”. It features a Nigella-esque barmaid, leaning across the counter with a beer mug, her gathered patrons reflected in the glass.


“Man at an exhibition” portrays just that: a pompous elderly gentleman leans on a cane, critically surveying the displayed art works. “Hand tools” has a similarly self-explanatory title, depicting a mix of familiar and obscure implements lined up on a work bench.


More curious is “Out and about”, a work inspired by Guy Fawkes night on the farm. A masked figure carries a sack of coal, ready to further stoke a blazing bonfire, while the hapless animal behind him nervously watches on.


For more than 30 years Tony Rumball has painted with an art group founded in Stratford by the late Tom Kriesler. A regular exhibitor in Taranaki, Rumball has shown works with ZIMMERMAN since 2010.



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For the summer months December 2018 and January 2019, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting Stairways and enclaves - sculptural works by Anna Korver.




Stairways and enclaves - Artist’s statement

“This exhibition is a collection of works that continue two main series, which have recently become literally and thematically linked: works from my signature figurative and dress form series, and a more recent series based on architectural forms.”

Figurative and dress form series

“My figurative works retain a strong feminine narrative, and generally speak about an internal dialogue of balance and strength.

The directly figurative pieces embrace the hard lines of the masculine while also reclaiming the softer feminine attributes which are often seen as weaknesses, re-forging and celebrating them into a different kind of strength.

The dress forms take on various narratives about the feminine experience, some as forms of armour, while others are lighter and more whimsical.”

Architectural series

“My architectural works depict a chaotic, deconstructed landscape.

They symbolise the rebuilding of the idea of home, and connection to a specific place or culture, questioning and clarifying the need and importance of this idea to our own identity.

These architectural works touch on the quantum theory of the observer effect giving reference to the way people and places impact, imprint on and define each other.”

Evolution of staircases and enclaves

“My figurative works have often incorporated the staircase element. The more recent works incorporate the two in a way where they have evolved into a single form, one unable to exist without the other.

The staircases and architectural forms can be seen emerging from the figure, or leading into tiny rooms and enclaves within the figures, alluding to the idea that the concept of home has become an internal feeling.”

Anna Korver – brief artist bio

Anna Korver holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Canterbury (2003).

Korver is a regular participant in sculpture symposia and sculpture park exhibitions both locally and abroad.

In 2018, Korver was part of international sculpture symposia in New Zealand, Korea, Romania, Albania and Macedonia. In earlier years Korver has participated in sculpture symposia in Qatar, Montenegro, Cyprus, Australia, Denmark, Turkey, Iran and Costa Rica. The artist was awarded first prize for her work at sculpture symposia in Rotorua (2014), Whangarei (2012) and Coromandel (2008).

Public sculpture by Korver has been installed both in New Zealand and abroad, including in Romania, Albania, Egypt, Montenegro, Australia, Turkey, Iran and Costa Rica.

Korver’s work has been exhibited on multiple occasions at New Zealand Sculpture Onshore (Devonport), Sculpture on the Peninsula (Banks Peninsula) and Art in a Garden (Canterbury). Korver has twice exhibited as part of Shapeshifter at the Dowse (Lower Hutt), and has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Wallace Art Awards (2016 and 2018).

Korver is a former a co-owner of The Korver Molloy Gallery and Sculpture Park, which operated in Taranaki for four years. 


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For the month of November 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting Rag and Bottle Shop - new works by Kirsty Gardiner.   



Artist's Statement

“This exhibition, Rag and Bottle Shop, is inspired by French and English porcelain and objects collected over time.


Imagine an op shop in New Zealand at the end of the 19th century. The ‘Rag and Bottle Shop’ was London’s equivalent; mudlarking along the Thames would have been the next best option.


Around this time huia were already an endangered species (the last official sighting was in 1907). Many homes would have mounted birds in glass domes in the parlour. High tea was a regular event, and the best tea service would come out for guests.


I have endeavoured to make some of these items, with a twist of my own. They are whimsical yet serious: the drinking bowl cannot hold water and the Bird Dolls express the passing of the huia from our forests.


I like to think of the work as a trans-cultural mix of myths, ceramic archetypes and, of course, extinct birds.”


Exhibition commentary

While Kirsty Gardiner is well known locally for her ceramic huia and moths, this month’s exhibition is a more wide-ranging showcase of the artist’s extensive practice.


Rag and Bottle Shop comprises a medley of objects d’art, inspired by ideas from history, fantasy and ornithology, as well as the artist’s imaginings as to what one visiting a 1900 New Zealand second-hand shop might have discovered inside.


The works are predominantly wheel thrown altered and hand-made forms, incorporating mid fire porcelain and textile.


The exhibition also features a stunning large porcelain centrepiece: a wall-mounted installation of 29 South Island kokako, 130 cm in diameter.


The South Island kokako is one of five New Zealand wattlebirds (the others being the extinct huia, two species of saddlebacks, and the North Island kokako).


South Island kokako are slightly smaller and darker than their North Island counterparts, with orange rather than blue facial wattles. Their numbers declined markedly after the introduction of cats, ship rats and stoats, with the last accepted 20th century sighting being at Mt Aspiring National Park in 1967.


Declared extinct by the Department of Conservation in 2008, in 2013 the species' conservation status was moved from extinct to “data deficient”, based on a claimed sighting in 2007 near Reefton on the West Coast.


Kirsty Gardiner - artist bio

Kirsty Gardiner has exhibited throughout New Zealand for over 20 years. This is the artist’s second solo show at ZIMMERMAN.


Gardiner’s ceramic sculptures are influenced by her childhood, French and English porcelain, Lewis Carroll (the father of nonsense literature), natural history and the collections with which she came into contact while working for eight years as a gallery technician for Aratoi Museum of Art and History in Masterton.


Gardiner’s works have been selected multiple times for The Portage Ceramic Awards, New Zealand’s most prestigious ceramics prize. In 2010, Gardiner’s work received the coveted Premier Award.


In 2013 Gardiner won the Friends of Aratoi Award, and in 2015 Gardiner secured the Excellence Award in the New Zealand Society of Potter Elements exhibition.


Gardiner’s work has also been twice selected for the James Wallace Art Awards.


In 2012-2013, Kirsty’s exhibition Portmanteau: A Cabinet of Curiosities toured the lower North Island, with showings at Aratoi, Expressions (Upper Hutt) and Te Manawa (Palmerston North).


Earlier this year, Kirsty has had two public art gallery exhibitions: Remnants, Remains at Aratoi, and Rag and Bottle Shop at Pataka in Porirua.


The exhibition “Rag and Bottle Shop” is at ZIMMERMAN until 30 November 2018.


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For the month of October 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting Constructed, Deconstructed, Reconstructed - new works by Kate Elder.




Elder’s new works continue an ongoing focus on the constructed world:


“Because of our thirst for space, construction often creeps towards the physical limits. And while one can try to simulate unbounded and limitless spaces, of course they’re a myth.


You can easily take one of these complex interiors and turn it inside out - deconstructing the form in all its parts, ready to rebuild and start the process again.”


Kate Elder was born in Wellington in 1980. In 2001 Elder completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (majoring in sculpture) at Dunedin School of Art, and went on to study cabinetmaking in Spain.


Elder spent a number of years working with furniture, before returning her focus to art, using the skills and knowledge acquired over this period to refine her art practice.


Elder has twice received awards as part of her participation in the Mahara Gallery Review, taking out the top Open award in 2015 and the 3D Award in 2017.


This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.


The exhibition “Constructed, Deconstructed, Reconstructed” runs from 1 to 31 October 2018.


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For the month of September 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting Notes + corrections - new paintings by artist Cam Munroe.  



These new works on canvas speak confidently of shape and gesture, with mark making that offers contour and form, with a purposeful balance between light and dark.


The collected shapes are presented like a coded language, with figures and forms arranged in orderly rows, in the same manner as traditional script might be depicted.


This compositional structure creates the tantalising suggestion that words and messages lie in plain sight, waiting for us to unlock and reveal meaning, if only we knew how to decipher the cryptic code.


But there is no secret key to understanding this unfamiliar alphabet; the assembled shapes and forms are not based on any literal or historic writing system or cipher.


Instead, the artist’s first consideration is that the shapes aesthetically work together in each painting. Technique, restraint and problem solving are all also integral to the successful outcome of each work.


Each mark builds on the next, enabling the artist to capture on canvas, through gesture and contour, an eclectic collection of objects and forms.


The exhibition of Notes + corrections by Cam Munroe runs from 1 to 30 September 2018.



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This month ZIMMERMAN continued its exhibition of BLACK, a response to the closure of the Manawatu Art Gallery for "up to 10 months".   


** UPDATE ** Due to the public outcry about a 10 month closure of the Manawatu Art Gallery, the Palmerston North City Council has now slashed the closure by a full seven months. The Art Gallery will open again at the end of September. 


However, despite this welcome intervention by Council, the Art Gallery still faces an uncertain future. The same management remains, and the Art Gallery building may potentially be demolished within the next few years. If you would like to support the call to "Save the Art Gallery in Palmerston North", then please click on the following link to sign the online petition:


Save the art gallery in Palmerston North  



BLACK is a response to the closure of the Manawatu Art Gallery “for up to 10 months” from 1 July 2018.

Official information requests made to Te Manawa and Palmerston North City Council reveal:


- The decision to close the Art Gallery for up to 10 months was not based on any external evidence or advice – it was an internal decision made by Te Manawa’s management and accepted by Te Manawa’s Trust Board.


- In Te Manawa’s view “exhibitions in the gallery’s five exhibition spaces are a significant drain on staff time and resources”. Closing the Art Gallery for “maintenance and repairs” provided Te Manawa with an opportunity to redirect staff resources into other projects, including “redevelopment of the long-term exhibitions in the museum” and projects to “exemplify TM2025” (ie; projects to show what the Te Manawa experience might transform into by the year 2025).


- While some renewal works will take place in the Art Gallery during the 10 month closure, no structural changes are being made. The Art Gallery building is structurally sound, and no public safety issues existed before the closure


In closing our Art Gallery for up to 10 months, Te Manawa is taking away from our community, for almost a full year, the many opportunities and access to artworks that only a public art gallery can provide. The Art Gallery is the only venue in the Manawatu capable of securing prestigious touring art exhibitions, and able to bring works by prominent artists who have no local dealer here


Many of us who live and work here have dedicated our lives and careers to practising, teaching or promoting the visual arts.


Our region is also home to many students - primary, secondary and tertiary – whose opportunities for art education and inspiration instantly shrank when the Manawatu Art Gallery closed. Add to this the many artists, collectors and art viewing public who live or visit here – the doors have been shut on us all.


The time has come for Palmerston North City Council to step in and appoint a new Trust Board to manage the Art Gallery.


Please show your support by signing the online petition at:



With over 725 signatures already, your signature will help show that the arts community treasures the Manawatu Art Gallery, and wants our Council to take the action needed for it to hum again.



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This month’s exhibition at ZIMMERMAN is BLACK: a response to the closure of our public art gallery in Palmerston North.


Due to public concern about the 10 month closure and the uncertain future of the art gallery, Bronwyn Zimmerman has posted an online petition to "save the art gallery in Palmerston North". You can support the petition by clicking on the following link:


Save the art gallery in Palmerston North  


In March this year, our community was informed that the public art gallery in Palmerston North would close on 1 July, for up to 10 months, for “desperately needed” maintenance and repairs.


The Chief Executive of Te Manawa said it was unfortunate that the doors would have to shut, but stated it was necessary, given the nature of the work.


The decision was supported by Te Manawa’s Trust Board, with the Chair claiming “there was no other way but this way.”


Members of our local arts community have repeatedly asked what works would be carried out to require such a lengthy closure.


Yet even the day before the start of the closure, Te Manawa remained unable to identify even a single item of repair or maintenance actually scheduled to take place.


To add insult to injury, Te Manawa has also released a statement confirming that “no decision has been made” on the future of the art gallery.


The continuing uncertainty about the future of our public art gallery is of grave concern – it would be a very sad day for our City, if we were to lose the standalone public art gallery we currently have.


Meantime, a 10 month closure of the public art gallery leaves a substantial hole in our region’s art offering.


Te Manawa has not confirmed any alternative exhibition venues, meaning the City’s entire permanent art collection may be locked away for many months, unable to be seen by anyone.


It should rarely be the case that every available space within a public facility is completely closed to ratepayers and visitors.


And when closure really is necessary, then appropriate plans should be in place to minimise both the period of closure and the resulting loss and inconvenience to the community.


This month’s exhibition, BLACK, is ZIMMERMAN’s response to this inexplicable closure.


BLACK encompasses many ideas; the exhibited works include feelings of sadness, loss, bewilderment, watching, waiting, falling, floating, fragility and instability.


But there are also signs of heart and hope that rise above the darkness: artists are resilient, and will find a way to communicate and be heard.

BLACK: a response to the closure of our public art gallery - exhibition runs from 1 to 31 July 2018 

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For the month of June 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting a selection of abstract paintings by artist Talulah Belle Lautrec-Nunes. 


Lautrec-Nunes’ paintings are loaded with colour and movement, a symphony of gestural brushstrokes, loose mark-making and meandering brush strokes.


“I’m continually searching for the perfect mark … It has to be instant and uncomplicated, natural, fluid and fresh.”


With every mark and colour, Lautrec-Nunes navigates the space between artistic control and abandon, to enable the personality of each painting to emerge:


“I’m convinced that the more I remove myself from the process the better the works end up being … I’m just allowing the works to be made and then see what becomes of them.”


“I love the abstracts as they challenge me in ways no other genre has … They’re so diverse and frustrating and thrilling at the same time.”


Lautrec-Nunes is a full time artist with a diploma in Art and Creativity (Honours). 


The exhibition of Talulah Belle Lautrec Nunes’ paintings runs at ZIMMERMAN from 1 to 30 June 2018



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For the month of May 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting a selection of new oil paintings on vintage ware by Nelson-based artist, Lee-Ann Dixon.  


Birds, moths and precious keepsakes all feature in Lee-Ann Dixon’s works - studies that pay tribute to memories and the passage of time.


“In recent works I delve into the past and use symbols to reference events and relationships that have shaped my psyche. It's hard to explain without sounding cliche, but as you age you get to look back at the story that is your life, re run the film and analyse it.” – Lee-Ann Dixon (2018)


Dixon holds a Visual Arts Diploma and Bachelor of Visual Arts from Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. The exhibition of Dixon's works at ZIMMERMAN runs from 1 to 31 May 2018.

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For the month of April 2018, ZIMMERMAN is celebrating new beginnings, with a move to new gallery premises at 329 Main Street, Palmerston NorthTo celebrate the move, local artists Naga Tsutsumi, Fran Dibble and Paul Dibble have each contributed new work.


Over the Easter break, ZIMMERMAN moved to new premises at 329 Main Street, Palmerston North (directly opposite Te Manawa Art Gallery).


We bought the former “Foto First” building just over a month ago - and have spent almost every available hour since then busily preparing the space for ZIMMERMAN to move in.


We’ve been assisted in our toil by Bronwyn’s never-quite-managing-to-retire father, Peter Zimmerman – thanks Dad for all your tireless help! 


The new building has more than double the exhibition footprint of ZIMMERMAN’s former space, and also enjoys generous office and storage areas. There’s an abundance of nearby carparking, including the adjacent free public carpark outside Harvey Norman.


We’re still finding our feet, but the doors are now open, so feel welcome to stop by – we’re always here at our regular daily hours of 11am to 3pm (including weekends). 


 We’ll be having a “relocation celebration” later this month, at 4pm on 25 April (ANZAC Day), so please save the date and join with us then if you can.


“New Beginnings” is on display at ZIMMERMAN from now until 30 April 2018


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 For the month of March 2018, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Painted Words - new paintings by Naga Tsutsumi.   


This month: Painted Words – new works by Naga Tsutsumi

This month ZIMMERMAN is delighted to feature Painted Words – a series of new works by Naga Tsutsumi in which the artist has combined images with words and phrases drawn from the Japanese language.

Artist commentary

“In early February I went to Auckland to see the Corsini Collection exhibition at Auckland Art Gallery.


The exhibited works were obviously secondary works from the Collection, but it was still a great opportunity to see real Renaissance paintings, especially Pontormo's study work, and Caravaggio's portrait.


My fascination with the paintings in the Corsini Collection was not to do with realism or anatomy, but was instead about the spontaneous brush strokes, still vivid colours, uncountable layers to create depth, the facial expressions on each figure that unsettle the viewer’s mind, and symbolic objects suggesting mysteries ... the paintings were so meaningful! 


In my own work, the idea or concept is of primary importance. But painted subjects – usually people - don't always clearly deliver the underlying idea. And while I sometimes use symbolic objects in my paintings, there is a risk of losing the desired simplicity of the final image. I want my paintings to reach the viewer’s mind, like Renaissance paintings do.


Rediscovering the power of words


Following a conversation with a local cartoonist, Brent Putze, I rediscovered the power of cartoons and comics – they convey what the artist desires to communicate with a combination of pictures and words.  Even direct dialogue can pose a dichotomy, or carry hidden messages between the lines, like in a poem. 


Reflecting on this inspired me to adopt words in my latest paintings.


I have used my native language, Japanese, to recall favourite old sayings, parts of poems or lyrics, words expressing my state of mind, or simply words I wanted to play with.


The dilemmas of using words in painting


Art work or graphic design?


Whenever I place words on a picture, it feels as if I’m designing a book cover. But I really like the paperback covers of old detective or horror novels: the perfect match of illustrations and titles with a certain typeface


Should I write, or paint, the words?


Writing words on a canvas, and painting words on a canvas, are different activities with different significance.


Initially I thought it would be rude to Kiwi audiences for me to show paintings using foreign words. So I selected the words I wished to use to deliver my message, then carefully examined the visual appeal of the shape of the letters.


While words written on a painting are usually meant to be read, painted words are objects to be looked at (like Jasper Johns alphabets or numbers) – reading is not the primary concern. In this series of paintings, the titles (while not direct translations) reflect the painted words; my hope is that messages are conveyed through the picture surface.


What if Japanese people see the work?


Many Japanese letters are pictographs, enabling viewers familiar with the language to instantly recognise what is being said without reading. I wonder if Japanese people, on viewing the paintings, will first look at the image, or the words? 

The words and phrases used in these paintings may be unusual for them to see outside Japan in this era.”


The exhibition of Naga Tsutsumi’s new works, “Painted Words”, runs from 1 to 29 March 2018.



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For the month of February 2018, ZIMMERMAN is featuring new paintings by Andrew Moon.   

Andrew Moon: artist's commentary for this exhibition

“Many of my concept pieces feature my immediate family. Originally this was for reasons of pure convenience – they were the artist models who were always within reach! But over time they have also become more central actors throughout the creative process. Because they have now sat for me so many times, they already have a good idea of what I’m looking for in terms of light fall and shadow, and make their own suggestions or adjustments even as they sit.


Later, during the painting process, I bring them into the studio to critique what I’ve done. It’s easy to lose objectivity when you’re working on a piece day in and day out. And while it’s sometimes hard to endure someone calling your baby ugly, ultimately I find it really useful (once I’ve finished sulking) to see things from a different perspective. For me it’s about being more aware of how someone might see it for the first time, and it helps me produce a painting that I feel is more complete or polished.


My daughter Josie, who features in many of my paintings, is now pursuing her own creative career – in music. This in itself has continued to be useful, as I find that creativity in itself inspires more creativity. 


Josie was the model for two recent paintings, Stand and Advance. The works are companion pieces, in that they are recognisably of a similar theme in a similar setting, and they are the same size (120 x 90 cm). But I have set out to have them both convey different sensations.


I selected the colour palette for each to be highly vibrant and striking, but also unique – they are not historical depictions. The composition for each character is different: Stand shows an alert and defensive posture, while Advance shows a deliberate charge forward. In this way, with their individual compositions and colour palettes, each piece conveys a different response to the same stimulus - which is the stimulus of being challenged or threatened in some way. And my intent is to convey not only two different possible responses (or choices), but also to convey them with two different feelings or moods.”


Andrew Moon’s new paintings are on display at ZIMMERMAN from 1 to 28 February 2018


Featured images (all are oil on canvas paintings by Andrew Moon, 2017)


Advance, 120 x 90 cm
Stand, 120 x 90 cm
Fragment 1, 50 x 40 cm
Fragment 2, 50 x 50 cm
Brood, 90 x 60 cm

Brief artist bio

Andrew Moon is a self-taught artist based on the Kapiti Coast. 

Painting mainly in oil and acrylic, Moon is inspired by the realist styles and techniques of a range of Old Masters. He enjoys working with an emphasis on the harsh lighting contrasts of chiaroscuro (exaggerated contrasts of light and dark). Finding inspiration in the works of 17th Century masters such as Caravaggio, Velazquez and Rembrandt, Moon’s intensely illuminated figures are often picked out from shadowy backgrounds by bold, directional sources of light. 

The influence of Caravaggio, in particular, is visible in a number of Moon’s works. In similar fashion to the Old Master, Moon takes as his models the people close or familiar to him, transforming family members and friends into models for compositions ranging from the historic to the contemporary.


While Moon enjoys exploring a range of subjects and settings for his paintings, he often returns to portraits and people, drawn back by the challenge and intensity of the human form.

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For the summer months December 2017 and January 2018, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting a selection of small works by a number of different artists represented by the gallery.   

All things small and wonderful

A few months ago, ZIMMERMAN asked each of its artists to consider creating work for a “small things” summer exhibition.

The question “how small is small?” was left to each artist to determine, and a number of ZIMMERMAN artists approached the challenge with enthusiasm and vigour.

A few artists discovered they had “just the thing” already in their studio, while others were spurred to begin completely new projects for this exhibition.

The result is an eclectic collection of stunning works in a variety of different media, including works created using porcelain, bronze, steel, glass, wood, canvas, paper and silk.

Titled All things small and wonderful, the exhibited works will change over the course of the exhibition: as some of these works are taken away, new small works (including works by other artists) will be added in their place.

The changing face of this exhibition, and the number of small works featured, makes it tricky to show you all the works that form part of this evolving exhibition - so featured here are just a few images of some of the works included in this exhibition.

Selected images:

o   Light bulb, Cam Munroe, hand painted porcelain

o   A beautiful destruction # 8, Fran Dibble, cast patinated bronze

o   tinysmearandcatch, Rebecca Wallis, acrylic + acrylic medium + GAC 100 on unprimed cotton

o   Misosgi-harai #1, #2 and #3, Naga Tsutsumi, acrylic on canvas

o   Cosmic Landscape: Nebulae and Pulsar, Sebastien Jaunas, steel and mixed media

o   Pomp and Circumstance, Tony Rumball, drawing on watercolour paper

Exhibition runs from 1 December 2017 until 31 January 2018.


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For the month of November 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring new paintings by Taranaki artist Tony Rumball.   

Tony Rumball: selected new works

This month’s exhibition is large scale and full of colour. 


Tony Rumball spontaneously approaches each canvas, first broadly sketching in charcoal or ink, then applying undiluted oil paint with a palette knife. The result is a multi-layered impasto texture, where rich warm tones jostle against cool blues, and big gentle figures emerge from a blizzard of paint. 


Rumball’s works focus on the incidents and accidents of everyday life: from the stiff-bodied determinedness of the stout figure in Blue in the Face, to the look of surprise a farmer exchanges with his dog in A Misunderstanding.   


Snapshots of human mood and expression, the paintings typically appear off-beat and humorous, yet hints of something deeper and darker also swirl within the psychological mix. 


The exhibition of Tony Rumball’s new works runs from 1 to 30 November 2017. 


Tony Rumball – brief artist bio 

Born in 1943, for more than 30 years Tony Rumball has painted with an art group founded in Stratford by the late Tom Kriesler. 


Many of Rumball’s works are begun at these weekly Stratford painting sessions, then completed at the artist’s home studio in New Plymouth.


A regular exhibitor in Taranaki, Rumball’s work is frequently exhibited at Stratford’s Percy Thomson Gallery, as well as featuring in selected group shows in New Zealand and Paris. 


Rumball has exhibited with ZIMMERMAN in Palmerston North since 2010.

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For the month of October 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring From her perspective - new works by Whanganui-based artist Katherine Claypole.   

By way of artist's statement for this exhibition, the artist has supplied the following excerpt from Margaret Atwood's novel, The Handmaid's Tale:


"What I need is perspective. The illusion of depth, created by a frame, the arrangement of shapes on a flat surface. Perspective is necessary. Otherwise there are only two dimensions. Otherwise you live with your face squashed up against a wall, everything a huge foreground, of details, close-ups, hairs, the weave of the bed sheet, the molecules of the face. Your own skin like a map, a diagram of futility, crisscrossed with tiny roads that lead nowhere. Otherwise you live in the moment. Which is not where I want to be.”


The works in this exhibition play with spatial relationships, cleverly juxtaposing collage with hand stitched forms.


Vaguely nostalgic imagery is combined with futuristic forms, associating memory and the familiar with the uncertainty of the new and unknown.


Drawing foremost on the artist’s skills in drawing and design, Claypole’s work also requires considerable technical dexterity, time and determination to complete.


Katherine Claypole – brief artist bio

Born in Hawkes Bay, Claypole holds a Master of Fine Arts from Canterbury University School of Fine Arts (Christchurch) and a Bachelor of Design from Unitec Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Design (Auckland).


After seven years of lecturing in drawing at Whanganui UCOL, Claypole recently left teaching to pursue a full time career as an artist.


In addition to solo exhibitions in Christchurch, Auckland and Whanganui, Claypole has also participated in a number of group exhibitions and award shows.


In 2011, Claypole was the winner of the Carey Smith & Co Whanganui Art Award at Sarjeant Gallery. Earlier this year, one of Claypole’s hand stitched thread drawing and collage works was selected as a finalist in the Parkin Drawing Prize, New Zealand’s premier drawing award.


Claypole’s works are held in art collections across the country, including four works owned by the James Wallace Arts Trust.

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For the month of September 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Shape Shift - new paintings by Wellington-based artist Cam Munroe.   

Cam Munroe: Shape Shift

Cam Munroe’s “shape shift” works take the form of 10 paintings on 200 mm round panels. 

The works play with space, form and dimension; an assemblage of carefully crafted geometric shapes, meticulously mapped and marked out in finely painted white rows, contained within dark circular bases.  

“This most recent work reflects my continuing interest in the workings of the mind. For example the power of thought to alter one's mood or outlook of a moment in time. These paintings offer a type of 'flip book animation' of sorts; a snap shot of forms from one form to another.”  

Picking up and extending the aesthetic of these small “shape shift” works are five large paintings on canvas. 

The large works, while employing similar tones and techniques to the circular panels, introduce the idea of palisades: fence-like structures, suggestive of containment, fortification and enclosure.  

“Previously I have dealt with large black paintings that used a more grid like approach. I am hoping these works that allow more open space around the canvas to take this into further maturation. Painting with white ink on a textured substrate has been integral to the work, in doing this forcing my mind and hand to slow down and benefiting each finished composition.”  

The exhibition of Cam Munroe’s new paintings at ZIMMERMAN runs from 1 to 30 September 2017.  

Cam Munroe – brief artist bio

Born in Melbourne in 1972, Cam Munroe is a graduate of the Meadowbank School of Art and Design in Sydney. In 1994, Munroe moved to New Zealand, and established her home and studio in Wellington.  

Munroe has a solid exhibition history, extending over more than two decades. The artist has been represented by ZIMMERMAN since her first solo exhibition at the gallery in 2010.  

Munroe’s art practice initially focused on painting, with wood, canvas, cardboard and aluminium all employed as bases on which the artist marked out her unique pictorial language.  

Characteristically comprising a collection of curious objects and cryptic symbols, the artist’s paintings frequently assume a grid-like arrangement, in which strange and mysterious forms are captured, collated and contained. Munroe’s current series of paintings expands upon this former body of work, featuring new forms that transcend the faintly marked and disintegrating gridlines that lie beneath. 

In recent years, the artist has extended her media of choice to include ceramics. This new media has provided Munroe with a means of translating her pictorial language into three-dimensional form. 

In 2015, a ceramic composition by Munroe was slected as a finalist in the Parkin Drawing Prize, New Zealand’s most prestigious drawing award. In 2016, Munroe took out the Premier Award at Ceramicus in Wellington, confirming the artist’s successful adoption of this new media.



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For the month of August 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring 10 new paintings by 20 year old Paige Williams.  


Paige Williams is fascinated by “the weird and interesting”. 

Working from a home studio in Auckland, the artist paints “all sorts of animals, in strange or unusual situations.” 

In this month’s show, the featured creatures are an eclectic collection of the furry, feathered, six-legged and amphibian. 

A bunny shyly peeks out from behind a stylised Japanese mask; the innocent young rabbit who really wants to be a fox. 

In a counterpoised work, a keen-eyed fox has donned the face of a rabbit. Does the fox really wish to be a bunny … or is this a clever confidence trick, to charm an unsuspecting prey? 

While the rabbit and fox wear masks, in another painting it is the mask that wears the creatures. An ancient Balinese mask, lost or abandoned by its human actors, provides a gathering place for a congregation of praying mantises.  

In A Pack of Mice, a mischief of mice have discovered their own curious place in which to play, a lively game of hide and seek taking place in an alpaca’s fur. The soft-eyed alpaca appears unperturbed by the flurry of activity around her head, or by the untamed flora sprouting from her dainty collar. 

Another creature apparently at ease with his unusual circumstances is a bug-eyed green frog. His characteristic camouflage colours are dotted with bright patches of purple, red, orange and blue, topped off with a playful hat. Look more closely and you will see that this patchwork frog appears to already have found an appreciative audience for his quirky appearance - the transparent bubbles floating about his head are host to numerous small fish, perhaps transfixed by this unique character’s queer and colourful look. 

Meanwhile, as if portraying some bizarre magician’s trick, Cat-tea features a cat’s face emerging from a cup and saucer. 

A giant brown-eyed blue gecko makes a dramatic appearance; emerging larger-than-life from an imagined forest, she patiently bears an assortment of smaller lizards on her head. 

In the midst of this cast of the cute, the creeping and the curious, a stoic white stag enters the frame, droplets of morning dew falling from his mossy antlers. 

Droplets also feature in Fungi Frog, in which a plump green frog sits atop a toadstool. Glistening water drops adhere like limpets to his froggy skin, while an escargatoire of snails slide across his slippery surfaces. 

More delicately poised, in Humming Berry, a hummingbird perches on a lush red strawberry, balancing a perfect water bubble on her beak. 

This is the artist’s second solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN. 

Exhibition runs from 1 to 31 August 2017

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For the month of July 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Bloom - new paintings by Elspeth Shannon. This is the artist's seventh solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.

Elspeth Shannon: Bloom

The works in this exhibition spring from the artist’s continued exploration of the process of painting, in which works are begun with no initial idea or subject matter in mind.


“For my last exhibition, in November 2016, I made a conscious decision to forgo my former painting process in search of a new language. Without the familiar focus of an object, I’ve been forced to intuitively feel my way forward. Like a game of chess, every mark making helps dictate the next move.  A sequence that is as enervating as it is challenging.”


From the artist’s first free applications of paint an underlying order starts to emerge, and the works begin to suggest a variety of organic forms. 


Softly emerging shapes, suggestive of petals, leaves and fruit, bunch and spread across the artist’s canvases, a virtual harvest of peach, grape, orange and avocado tones.


In some paintings the forms appear suspended mid-air, frozen moments caught on canvas; in other works, colour spreads fluidly outward from ovoid bases, like untamed living bouquets.


This is the artist’s seventh solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.


Elspeth Shannon holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Massey University, Wellington


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For the month of June 2017, ZIMMERMAN presents The Otherness of Ourselves: paintings by Rebecca Wallis. This is the artist's third solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.

Rebecca Wallis: The Otherness of Ourselves

Rebecca Wallis seeks to make associations between the corporeal (the body) and the painterly (paint and the painting).


Paint seeps, leaps and spills across the artist’s canvases, spawning forms at once fleshly, fluid and alive.


The artist, noted for her mastery in working with gouache, has achieved unexpectedly soft and seductive painterly effects in this latest body of work, begun in 2015 and completed this year.


The result is a series of paintings that are simultaneously fascinating and disconcerting, evoking in the viewer a “push and pull” response of both curiosity and unease.


Wallis’ paintings also reference “the abject, through ideas of the Other, seen as displacement (that which is out of place)."


"The Otherness in these works is something that at one time belongs to us, is part of us and our autonomy. When it escapes, or separates itself away, it becomes something Other; foreign alien, unfamiliar, and threatening because of this.” 


The paintings give physical form to internal realms, with emotion and instinct played against logic and the external world.


Brief artist bio


Born in the UK in 1964, Rebecca Wallis has lived and practised between London and Auckland since completing her first Fine Arts qualifications in 1988. In 1995, Wallis attained a Masters in Visual Arts from Goldsmiths College of Art in London.


A former winner of the Walker & Hall Art Award (2008), Wallis’ work has also been selected for a number of other significant national art awards, including the Painting and Printmaking Art Awards (2012 and 2009) and the National Contemporary Art Awards (2011).


In 2017, Wallis’ work was a finalist in the Aesthetica Art Prize (UK).


Wallis is also a regular finalist in the prestigious Wallace Art Awards (2015, 2014, 2009 and 2008).


In 2015, Wallis enjoyed a sell-out show at Art Taipei (Taiwan). As a result, she was invited to exhibit at Asia Contemporary 2016 (Hong Kong).


Wallis’ paintings are held in a number of important national art collections, including the James Wallace Arts Trust and the Walker & Hall collection. Local institutions holding art works by Wallis include Te Manawa (Museum of Art, Science & History) and Massey University.  


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For the month of May 2017, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting the works of Palmerston North’s powerhouse creative couple, Fran and Paul Dibble. With a longstanding foothold in the Manawatu, this month’s exhibition is the latest of several exhibitions the husband and wife team have held at ZIMMERMAN since 2011.

Fran Dibble – Strange Fruit

Fran Dibble’s paintings occupy the walls in a new series the artist calls “Strange Fruit”.

The paintings are an unusual cross of realistic still life works with abstracted elements, each of similar importance, so we are unsure whether the fruit is nestled into an abstract back drop or whether the abstract elements are puncturing a more traditional scene.

This conveys the oddity of the world of illusions we live amongst where solid ordinary things are made up of empty space – particles within, moving with their own odd physics of behaviour, or gravity pulling objects to ground.

They are intentional play-offs of static objects with volume against the light airy movements of the unseen.

Paul Dibble – Once There Were Huia

Paul Dibble’s sculptures occupy the three dimensions, with a menagerie of celebratory animals promenading the gallery.

A collection of his rabbits gather in one grouping, turning-the-tails on their human exterminators, either wielding shotguns themselves or just smugly strolling the grounds.

The sculptor’s trademark creations of huia (Palmerston North’s natural icon, with its last siting in the Tararuas) either perch against golden kowhai or tower outside the gallery on a leafed Corten stand, surveying passers-by.

The central work The Last Huia (1907) is more solemn, immortalising the bird in flames, burning like the Phoenix, in recognition of its demise.

Brief artist biographies

Fran Dibble 

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. 

The artist draws 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 2012 Fran was made an Honorary Fellow of Universal College of Learning, Palmerston North. 


Paul Dibble 

Paul Dibble is a well-known sculptor, both nationally and abroad, with his significant work for the New Zealand Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London receiving high acclaim.

Born in 1943, Paul studied at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland, and graduated with a BFA Honours in Sculpture.

Paul is involved in all aspects of his studio practice, working with a small team, in a time where many other sculptors contract out the manufacture of their work to other businesses.

Paul has maintained a consistent exhibition schedule in New Zealand, with work also appearing in national and international Art Fairs. He is represented by leading galleries in New Zealand and Australia, and has produced a number of significant commissions – most recently, a large sculptural work unveiled at University of Otago in November 2016.

Paul was awarded a New Zealand Order of Merit in 2004, an Honorary Doctorate in Visual Arts from Massey University in 2007, and an Honorary Fellowship from Universal College of Learning in 2012.

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For the month of April 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring Between Shadows, new works by Kate Elder.

Artist’s Statement 

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

Each work is a combination of positive forms, negative cut-outs, painted surface and shadows. 

Through lighting positive and negative spaces, the presence of the forms and objects extend much further than their physical boundaries.

Some shadows are painted – the imprint of a different time or place – others are current and are subject to change, or can disappear completely.”

Artist info

Born in Wellington in 1980, Kate Elder has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from Dunedin School of Art.

After two years studying cabinet making in Madrid, Elder returned to New Zealand, and now lives and works on the Kapiti Coast.

“My return to New Zealand provoked a newfound appreciation for my environment, the formation and idiosyncrasies of the landscape: permanent in a broader sense, yet in a constant state of flux.”

Winner of the top award at the 2015 Mahara Gallery Arts Review, more recently Elder’s work was selected as a finalist in the Wellington Regional Arts Review (2016) and the Waiheke Community Art Gallery Small Sculpture Prize (2017).

“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.”

Elder’s works are held in private collections in New Zealand, Australia and Spain.

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For the month of March 2017, ZIMMERMAN is featuring the works of Wellington based artist, Lorraine Rastorfer

Comprising a selection of paintings from the artist’s recent solo exhibition at Pataka Art + Museum, this is the artist’s first exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.  


Rastorfer’s large abstract paintings are evocative of golden flax strands and silver ribbons, as if twisting, turning and floating in the breeze.


Iridescent lines of colour curl and intertwine across deep monochromatic surfaces, each painting possessing “its own pace and rhythm, with some containing a frenetic sense of energy and movement and others unfurling slowly and leisurely.”(1)  


Each painterly comb and flourish across the surface contributes to the pattern, depth and balance of the completed work.


“Rastorfer looks for the dynamics within the paint medium, investigating the same process over and over again with small graduated differences exploring the permutations of possibility and chance ... For her each painting is the emergent variation of the one that preceded it. The same tools and techniques are applied to each work. What differs is the colour and the gesture, the way the paint responds, the tonal variations, the texture.”(2)


“I work with the fluidity, viscosity, opacity and transparency of paint, a variety of mark-making tools that I have designed myself and the effects of chance, control and an overall conceptual intent. I keep going until I find a spatial balance; a sense of ordered freedom, a unified variety of rhythms and streams.”  - Lorraine Rastorfer


(1) Review by Laura Elliott - published in Art Seen, Otago Daily Times, November 2015
(2) Essay by Jacquie Clarke - published in connection with Rastorfer’s Meshworks exhibition at The New Dowse, December 2007 to March 2008


Artist's bio


Born in Wellington in 1961, Lorraine Rastorfer holds a Master of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from Auckland University, Elam School of Fine Arts (1992). 


Rastorfer is a regular exhibitor, with recent solo exhibitions at Pataka Art + Museum (2015 and 2016), and five solo exhibitions at Milford Galleries in Dunedin between 2006 and 2015.


A runner up in the Wallace Art Awards 1993, and a finalist in each year from 1999-2002, 2004 and 2011-2012, Rastorfer has received a number of other awards and grants. These include the 2005 CoCA/Anthony Harper Contemporary Art Award, 1993 Ida Eise Painting Award and 2002 WSA NZ Painting and Printmaking Award.


More recently, the artist’s work was selected as a finalist for the NZ Painting and Printmaking Award in 2008, 2011 and 2017.


Work by Rastorfer has also been selected for the Parkin Drawing Prize each year from 2014 to 2016, and in 2014 and 2015 for the Art Waikato National Contemporary Art Award. 


The artist’s work is represented in notable private and corporate collections, including the collections of Chapman Tripp Sheffield Young, ANZ National Bank, Auckland Institute of Architects and the James Wallace Arts Trust.

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For the month of February 2017, ZIMMERMAN is exhibiting new paintings by Naga Tsutsumi. 

This month's exhibition comprises two distinct series, both begun by the artist last year.

The works in the first series, Perspective, explore the artist’s reflections on the sensory rituals of a pre-digital world. "Do I miss awe and excitement of placing the needle on the turntable, pushing the play button on the cassette player, opening the book and turning pages?”

The works in the second series, Possession, are the product of the artist seeking to set aside adult rationality, to paint intuitively and unselfconsciously, “as children do.” 

Naga Tsutsumi: Artist’s Statement 


“It was not long ago that music and books became available as digital data. 

I use iPod and Kindle every day, because they are accessible and convenient. 

But these digital devices don’t have the same excitement as turning the very first page of a printed book, or placing a needle on a record.  

Books, music, photographs … as digitalisation progresses, part of the sensory experience of each book, song and photo is lost. The weight of a book, the smell and texture of its papers, the typeset letters with their specifically selected fonts. The record disc inserted in a paper jacket with its own cover artwork design, the smell of the vinyl, the sound of a needle touching down. Pushing down the play/rec buttons on a cassette player, using the shutter button on a manual camera, dialling an old phone, or tuning into a radio station by turning the knob ... all physical actions that engage our senses to create an “experience". 

Reading books and listening to music used to be such precious moments for me. So I feel relieved to see people still reading printed books, or listening to music with analogue players. 

I like that painting is still a physical activity, one that has not been replaced by a 0/1 (binary) format or automated system. 

Painting is an accumulation of human mistakes toward perfection, showing a history of thinking and decision making, frustrations and joys, all at the same time.” 


“This series is simply about painting what I want to paint. 

It is inspired by my daughter's drawing, and my ongoing suspicion about art making.  

Children, before receiving art education at school, are pure picture makers without theories and knowledge. 

Children draw whatever they like. Lines and colours are so bold and decisive. We can't retrieve this natural creativity after losing it (just like boys' soprano). 

I try to interact with my daughter as much as possible when she draws. 

When we collaborate, I observe how she draws and chooses colours, from which I can learn a lot. 

Nobody compels me to paint, so I am supposed to be free to paint however I wish. 

But what I was told by art school professors has become not just a useful foundation, but is also a spell, which keeps me from being a truly free painter. 

To cast off this spell, in this series of paintings I have reintroduced candy colours and free spontaneous strokes on the canvas, something I haven’t done for 25 years. 

I used to believe the statements of modern masters that "art is a weapon" and "art is not a decoration on the wall".  

But I have to conclude, as far as I paint, my paintings are not a weapon - and I am grateful if one of my works is hung in someone's living room, after all.” 

Brief artist’s bio  

Born in Japan in 1967, Naga Tsutsumi has lived in Palmerston North for more than a decade. 

From a samurai line, the artist is the last descendant of the main branch of the Tsutsumi family. 

“But I don’t have any inheritance or family treasures like swords, armour or written manuals about swordsmanship; my only legacy from the glory era is a family tree book, made about a hundred years ago, and my name.” 

Tsutsumi holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa, USA. 

This month marks the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at ZIMMERMAN.


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