Pacific Monarch


Paul Dibble



  • Sculpture


  • Bronze


  • H4400 x W2550 x D1350mm

Paul Dibble, ‘Pacific Monarch’ (1992), Te Manawa Museum, Te Papa-i-oea Palmerston North

Images: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022


Paul Dibble said of the work: "it is a monument to all the people who have settled in Palmerston North and who have brough aspects of their culture with them."

The figure's headdress is intentionally ambiguous - it could be a ceremonial Pacific crown of leaves, or the headdress of the green men of Celtic Europe.

The figure's blindfold respresents the way people immigrate to a new country without knowing what they will find there or what the future may hold.

The long voyage made by many settlers is represented by barnacles on the figure's stern-like thigh, and also by the globe balanced in one of the figure's hands.

In the figure's other hand is a plumb-bob (a builder's tool for vertically lining up framing), demonstrating an intent to settle and make a home. But first efforts can be rough and ready, using whatever comes to hand, and so the figure is up propped by two bending rods.

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