A world class sculpture park an hour from Auckland CBD, Gibbs Farm is not particularly easy to visit (it’s open once a month, usually during the week), but well worth making the effort. It has huge sculptures by some of the world’s greatest artists, including Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, and Len Lye. Vast though they are, they’re dwarfed by the 1,000 acres of rolling hills, and views over the Kaipara Harbour, the largest harbour in the Southern hemisphere.
Unfortunately it rarely stopped raining all day, but it was well worth getting wet to see these works.
One of Anish Kapoor’s largest works, the 85m long Dismemberment, Site 1, is pretty incredible, if quickly swallowed by the landscape.
This is one of only two Wind Wand by Len Lye (the other is in New Plymouth, his home town). The technology to make them only became available after he died.
George Rickey is famous for his kinetic sculptures that move in the wind, Two Rectangles, Vertical Gyratory Up (V) is a good example.
Richard Serra’s Te Tuhirangi Contour is over 250m long, made of 56 steel plates.
Horizons by Neil Dawson was one of the first sculpture to be commissioned, back in the 90s. I love it’s playfulness.
Literally a giant pile of standard concrete blocks, Pyramid (Keystone NZ) by Sol LeWitt looks different from every angle.
Graham Bennett’s Sea / Sky Kaipara was a little underwhelming compared to most of the other works in the park.
Rakaia by Peter Nicholls sits at the base of the hill beneath Anish Kapoor’s work.
One of the first works I saw and among my favourite was The Mermaid by Marijke de Goey, though unfortunately it wasn’t a functional bridge, could have been an interesting challenge in the rain!
Visible from almost everywhere 88.5 ARC x 8 by Bernar Venet provided shelter from the rain for some people.
Tango Dancers by Marijke de Goey was quite beautiful.
Easy K by Kenneth Snelson perhaps less so.
Maya Lin’s A Fold in the Field required major earthworks to construct, involving 105,000 cubic metres of soil being placed over a 30,000 square metre area, three hectares!
Green and White Fence by Daniel Buren wasn’t obviously a work of art without reading the programme.
Not sure who this work is by, can’t find it online or in the programme, I assume therefore that it’s pretty new!
Finally Richard Thompson’s Untitled (Red Square / Black Square) was playful and added colour to the landscape.
The landscape itself was pretty epic, I particularly like the huge fountain.
The lawns themselves were a work of art, I imagined a small fleet of sit on lawn mowers were involved.
Completely unexpectedly there were rather a lot of exotic animals in the park, along with an animal sculpture by Jeff Thomson. Only ones of these is an animal!
Which was the zebra, though this is a real giraffe.