The Alan Gibbs Farm 

Browse a few articles about the ARTWORK on The Farm...


Andy Goldsworthy Arches

Rob Garrett takes an exclusive tour of Gibbs’ Kaipara (New Zealand) property and interviews the collector for Art World.
Previously published in Art World AUS/NZ Edition Issue 9, June-July 2009, pp54-65; andArt World UK/Int’l Edition Issue 12, August-September 2009, pp124-129

"After just seventeen years Gibbs’ collection includes major, and in many cases the largest works by Andy Goldsworthy, Anish Kapoor, Bill Culbert, Chris Booth, Daniel Buren, Eric Orr, George Rickey, Graham Bennett, Kenneth Snelson, Len Lye, Leon van den Eijkel, Marijke de Goey, Neil Dawson, Peter Nicholls, Peter Roche, Ralph Hotere, Richard Serra, Richard Thompson, Russell Moses, Sol LeWitt and Tony Oursler.

Collected at a rate of about one a year (though many take 3-5 years to develop) all bar two of the sculptures are unique and site specific.
While The Farm cannot yet rival the depth of Storm King, Gibbs’ artists and works compare well.

In some cases they surpass. For instance the Serra, Buren and large Rickey are more significant works than their New York counterparts."


neil dawson horizons (Copy and paste this url)

The thing I love about Art World magazine is that they always manage to cut through the terrible ordinariness of gallery openings and free champagne (or cask wine, depending on the artist), to reveal what art is fundamentally about: pure passion.

In this month’s issue they feature Alan Gibbs, a Kiwi entrepreneur who owns The Farm, a 1000-acre sculpture park on New Zealand’s Kaipara Harbour.
Gibbs bought the windswept site in 1991. Since then, he has commissioned some epic works by Neil Dawson, Anish Kapoor, Andy Goldsworthy and Leon van den Eijkel, amongst others.

We can only hope that Gibbs will one day share The Farm with the public. In the meantime, I would like to thank Art World for revealing the spectacular results of this art lover’s true passion.

Reynolds’ recent outdoors works may seem a surprising departure. They include Cordyline, a work consisting of 8000 cabbage trees for Alan Gibbs’ sculpture farm at Kaipara; Snow Tussock and Golden Spaniard at Macraes Heritage and Art Park in East Otago; and a further work at the planning stage for a sculpture park at Brick Bay in the Matakana winegrowing district. Reynolds tries hard to keep his art from becoming predictable; and he wanted to re-direct his energies after Cloud because it was ‘the culmination of certain interests’. Working outoors ‘broadened the conversation of materials and refreshed the eyes’. But he is still applying a familiar aesthetic. Each work involves ‘an un-natural staging of the natural.’ The artist has chosen plants or trees that are not picturesque but ‘maverick.’ He likes cabbage trees for ‘their Dr Seuss quality—they are such distinctive characters,’ and their presence ‘both colludes and collides’ with the pasture land around them.

Mr Hill said he eventually wanted to emulate amphibious craft entrepreneur Alan Gibbs' sculpture park in Kaipara.

"Art that you can see from the moon ... it's unbelievable ... I would have liked to have done something similar here," he said.

Anish Kapoor

It is not that Auckland lacks any general sculptural intelligence or citizens with pockets deep enough to indulge it. It is just not the kind of city council a sensible person would trust with a work of art. That is truly sad, since only
50 minutes’ drive from the CBD, on Alan Gibbs’ sculpture park at The Farm, is a collection of some of the finest contemporary sculpture in the world.

The latest to be installed, Anish Kapoor’s amazing, 84m-long, twisted, red cone. It cuts through a ridge like some celestial megaphone.

There was a 100-foot-tall nude woman, her white shoulders like clouds, rolling around on the hill to our right. Below, on the mudflats coming up to the harbor's banks, huge eyes and mouths popped out of the wet ground, growling and chirping. To the left, on the trees, a gigantic skull twisted and changed, now human, now simian, now some terrible distortion of a head, a tour of death and birth and evolution all at once.

The American artist Tony Oursler, who was responsible for all this—video projected onto the landscape—was watching over his creation one evening last November from the deck of the Kaukapakapa country house of Alan Gibbs—at 68, one of the wealthiest men in New Zealand and one of its leading art patrons.
The house itself, overlooking Kaipara Harbour, an hour or so north of Auckland, is a modest enough affair for someone reported to be worth over $450 million, even if little else here is particularly unassuming. A sample fun weekend activity at the Farm: sit inside the caged ball at the top of the world's largest Tesla coil while several million volts of electricity spin around you before they burst into 40-foot-long lightning bolts. "It'll knock your socks off," Gibbs told me a month later, his voice resonating like a pistol shot over the phone. "We've all been inside the damn thing: It's scary as hell."