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 (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.
The wild animals that interact with the landscape and the artworks give the entire park a surreal feeling.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
After nearly twenty years Gibbs Farm includes major works by the following artists:
Marijke de Goey
Leon van den Eijkel
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.