A massive red PVC membrane cuts a striking silhouette against the rolling hills of Gibbs Farm, a sculpture trail of international repute in Kaipara Harbour, north of Auckland.
This is one of 25 site-specific artworks commissioned by Alan Gibbs, a well-known entrepreneur and art collector, way before he purchased the Kaipara property in 1991. A few sculptures are so big they can be seen from satellite images at high magnification. They take advantage of the stunning views on top of the ridges and nestle in the gullies and flatlands across the 400-hectare farm.
And Alan has not finished yet. Each year, a new piece appears on the landscape. My favourite is Horizons by New Zealand sculptor Neil Dawson. It looks like a giant piece of corrugated iron blown off an old shed.
You don’t have to be arty to enjoy Gibbs Farm. Beneath the sculptures wander exotic animals of many kinds, such as giraffes, zebras, llama, Brahman cattle, water buffalo and ostriches. It’s like a free-range zoo.
It takes several hours to walk around Gibbs Farm, and it’s a good idea to take a picnic. Entry is free, but it is open only one day per month. Bookings online are essential and must be made well in advance.
For information on the farm and artists, visit gibbsfarm.org.nz
By Pam Neville
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