A couple of weeks back we visited the Gibbs Farm sculpture park. Located on the shore of the Kaipara Harbour this awe-inspiring spot is home to one of the most fantastic private collections of art. Each piece is site-specific and commissioned by the owner of the farm, Alan Gibbs.
This is no small-scale collection, the park is vast, and at every turn there is something new to wonder at. We spent 4 hours there and I'm not even sure we saw everything.
A highlight for us was Maya Lin's A fold in the Field, a stunning piece which stretches out towards the harbour. We really like her landscape art, and this piece is breathtaking. 5 undulating folds work their way towards the shoreline in this, Maya Lin's biggest earthwork. Covering around 30000 square metres this environmental piece is created in harmony with the sheep that graze the pasture, allowing them access to the slopes to feed.
There were no sheep feeding on the folds when we visited, just a very loud water buffalo seeking a mate. However, it seems the sheep get a helping hand with the maintenance as one of the groundskeepers explained it takes a small team two weeks to mow the entire park, perpetually.
Another piece we loved was the Goldsworthy Arches. A beautiful work, featuring 11 Roman style arches built from Scottish Leadhill sandstone blocks. Fully exposed to, and integrated with, the elements this piece is magnificent. We stopped here for a picnic and watched an army of Oyster Catchers bask in the sun.
Gibbs Farm is full of contemporary art, and we were excited to see the pieces from Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, and New Zealand's own Neil Dawson, and they didn't disappoint. However, there was one piece we completely fell for, Geroge Ricky's Two Rectangles, Vertical Gyratory Up (V), if you ever get the chance to visit the Gibbs Farm, take our advice and lie underneath this piece and look to the sky.
The park is very kindly open to the public once a month by prior appointment. You can book your free ticket here.