Gibbs Farm: An Amazing Contemporary Art Park in New Zealand

Gibbs Farm Art Park Sculptures

Alan Gibbs created one of the world’s largest contemporary art parks in New Zealand, where impressive and enormous sculptures by some of the world’s greatest artists such as Richard Serra, Maya Lin, Anish Kapoor and Sol Lewitt majestically occupy the landscape.

Gibbs Farm Art Park

Gibbs Farm Art Park Sculptures
Zhan Wang’s Floating Island of Immortals

Gibbs Farm (not to be confused with the Gibbs Farm in Tanzania) is the perfect environment for what can only be described as a double experience of many of the artworks. On the one hand they can mostly be seen from a distance and their true scale is deceptively disguised by the drama and scale of the surrounding landscape which often out-muscles them. But by walking the landscape and coming into close quarters with each artwork, one after the other, their own scale and particular character unfolds, until one at a time, each artwork fills your viewing horizon and imagination.

Richard Serra’s Te Tuhirangi Contour, a giant ribbon of Corten Steel
A sheep is dwarfed by Richard Serra’s Te Tuhirangi Contour

The wild animals that interact with the landscape and the artworks give the entire park a surreal feeling.

Sol Lewitt’s concrete Pyramid Keystone being enjoyed by local sheep
Richard Thompson’s Black Square doesn’t seem to impress this cow

the following text is from Gibbs Farm
Gibbs Farm is an unusual setting for a sculpture collection. The North Auckland property is dominated by the Kaipara Harbour, the largest harbour in the Southern hemisphere.

Anish Kapoor’s Dismemberment

The harbour is so vast it occupies the whole western horizon; and it is very shallow, so when the tide goes out, the shallows are exposed for several kilometres and the light shimmies and bounces off it across the land. Equally, it is the forecourt to the prevailing westerly weather that sweeps, sometimes vehemently, across the land. Everything in the property flows towards and eventually into the sea; and every work contends in some way with the slide seaward.

Andrew Goldsworthy’s Arches, made of sandstone blocks, extend into the water

The flow of the land, the immense body of water, the wide harbour flats and the assertive variety of the elements have all imposed themselves on the artists. Gibbs acknowledges that “the challenge for the artists is the scale of the landscape; it scares them initially” and demands something more from them.

Richard Thompson’s Red Square with Anish Kapoor’s Dismemberment #1 in the background.

Walking the land visitors can appreciate how each artist has come to terms in their own way with the gravitational pull that is exerted on everything as the mountains roll into hills and slide into gullies and slope down towards the wide flat expanse of the Kaipara harbour.

Maya Lin’s A Fold In the Field are undulating mounds in the landscape

Most works in the collection are commissioned; and commissioning new works rather than buying from an exhibition involves the satisfaction of dealing with the artists, as Gibbs comments “they’re interesting because they’re winners, tough, ambitious”. —Rob Garrett

Marijke de Goey’s Tango Dancers
Marijke de Goey’s The Mermaid
Leon van den Eijkel’s Red Cloud Confrontation in Landscape
Neil Dawson’s Horizons, made of welded and painted steel

You can read the full essay about Gibbs Farm by Rob Garrett here

Map of art installations at Gibbs Farm

After nearly twenty years Gibbs Farm includes major works by the following artists:
Graham Bennett
Chris Booth
Daniel Buren
Bill Culbert
Neil Dawson
Marijke de Goey
Andy Goldsworthy
Ralph Hotere
Anish Kapoor
Sol LeWitt
Maya Lin
Len Lye
Russell Moses
Peter Nicholls
Eric Orr
Tony Oursler
George Rickey
Peter Roche
Andrew Rogers
Richard Serra
Kenneth Snelson
Richard Thompson
Jeff Thomson
Leon van den Eijkel
Bernar Venet
Zhan Wang

You can view all of the art and some videos here

Gibbs Farm is open to artists, educational institutions, charities and the public, by prior appointment only. Click here for further details regarding reservations and visiting.