Zac Whiteside

Zac Whiteside

Zachariah Whiteside is a multi-disciplinary artist, freelance photographer, and videographer based in Dunedin. Holding a Bachelor of Visual Arts with First Class Honours, majoring in Sculpture, Zac employs a bait-and-hook strategy in his work.

He weaves elements of popular culture, household commodities, and recognizable symbolism into his artworks to resonate with a broad audience. Using humour as his bait, Zac disarms his audience, transforming discussions that might otherwise feel uninteresting, unimportant, or uncomfortable into engaging conversations.

Gallery De Novo has a selection of Zac’s cast bronze bit coins currently available in two sizes.

Bit Coins - is a commentary on the ever-evolving currency landscape, embracing humour to explore the shift from tangible money to digital realms, featuring bronze coins with “bites” taken out of them—they are the inedible imitation of an edible imitation of an inedible object.

Chocolate coins hold a special place in Kiwiana iconography, immediately recognizable and cherished by many. They serve as an entry point for children to begin understanding the concept of money. In a similar vein, Zac’s chocolate coins act as a gateway to a broader conversation about physical cash and the implications of the ongoing shift toward digital currencies like Bitcoin. These “Bit Coins”, larger than genuine New Zealand currency, carry significant weight in symbolizing how we spend our money and the mediums we employ to do so, emphasizing the weight of the issue if we lose cash entirely.

The bite marks act as the artist’s signature, while also commenting on the potential traceability of digital currency, with social credit systems and Central Bank Digital Currencies on the rise, is it that unrealistic that our dental records might be attached to our wallets? 

The bite marks aid in disguising the bronze as soft chocolate, tempting the viewers to bite the coins themselves. However, biting these coins would be like biting a piece of display fruit. Just as in the 16th century, when counterfeit lead coins contaminated the economy—where biting the soft lead coins revealed their lie—Zac’s coins, disguised as the chocolate imitations, also reveal their true nature when bitten; hard, cold bronze. 

Large Bit Coin 2


Large Bit Coin


Bit coin with small bite


Bit Coin with large bite