Category: LAND ART

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: 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. Every work contends in some way with the slide seaward.

Chris Booth1

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.

thompson1Sol Lewitt

After nearly twenty years Gibbs Farm includes major works by Graham Bennett, Chris Booth, Daniel Buren, Bill Culbert, Neil Dawson, Marijke de Goey, Andy Goldsworthy, Ralph Hotere, Anish Kapoor, Sol LeWitt, Len Lye, Russell Moses, Peter Nicholls, Eric Orr, Tony Oursler, George Rickey, Peter Roche, Richard Serra, Kenneth Snelson, Richard Thompson, Leon van den Eijkel and Zhan Wang.

Snelsonroche_01Ralph Hotere2NichollsMarijke Degoey2Marijke Degoey1

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

LeonGraham BennetGeorge RickeyBill CulbertGoldsworthy1



Koru Material: Earth.
Dimensions: 80m diameter across mounds, height rising to 10metres. @Brick Bay Sculpure Park. Matakana, North Auckland. 2001.

“Koru is a major earth work sculpture made to celebrate the essence and joy of life at Brick Bay. The spiral form acknowledges land that was once densely forested with ancient kauri.

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In 2006, German artist duo Zonenkinder created The Tree Project, in which they embrace the gradual decay that occurs in everyday nature by transforming rotting tree wood into works of art. The artists enjoy finding new ways to create art through these inanimate objects, and they say, “We are constantly in search of new forms of expression and we love to play with unusual surfaces and locations.”

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Land artist Michael Grab creates astonishing towers and orbs of balanced rocks using little more than patience and an astonishing sense of balance. Grab says the art of stone balancing has been practiced by various cultures around the world for centuries and that he personally finds the process of balancing to be therapeutic and meditative.

Over the past few years of practicing rock balance, simple curiosity has evolved into therapeutic ritual, ultimately nurturing meditative presence, mental well-being, and artistry of design. Alongside the art, setting rocks into balance has also become a way of showing appreciation, offering thanksgiving, and inducing meditation. Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection.

Almost all of the works you see here were completed this fall in locations around Boulder, Colorado. You can see much more in his portfolio as well as several videos of him working over on YouTube.

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