Sunday, 20 May 2012


I'm almost sorry I found a link on Wikipedia to the artworks on Alan Gibbs' property, The Farm.  This reasonably recent addition is called Dismemberment. I'd rather not know that.  When it first appeared, I thought there were two separate structures, the bit closest to the road I took to be a fancy half round hay barn and the bit on the other side of the hill a giant trumpet.  But I can now see from the photo on the link that it is one 84 metre (275 feet) sculpture that lays in a dip between the hills.  It was created by Anish Kapoor.  It's spectacular but I don't like it's name.  I will persist in calling it The Trumpet. 

I took this photo on a day when there were lots of people walking around the farm, an unusual occurrence.  I tried to find out if there was a special event going on and failed.  But, in doing so, I came across this video which aired on TV a month to the day before I took this photo and the one that appeared in Friday's post.  It's about the huge steel arches that are on the skyline, to the right of this sculpture - and their creator, Bernar Venet.

Dawn Treader wondered if the artist could be the same one who made the rusty arcs in our town park in Vastergotland, Sweden.  I discovered he has works in Belgium, America, Japan, Austria, Switzerland, Germany- so why not Sweden?

Both the sculptors I've mentioned have their works in well known spots around the world.  Their works are seen by millions.  But here, in this place, are the biggest works the artists have ever created.  Actually all the works around The Farm are the largest the various artists have ever made.  And all we have to do to see them is to take the alternative route, State Highway 16, to Auckland.  Traffic is only moderately heavy on this road during long week-ends, when it is bedlam on SH1.  The rest of the time it's a pleasant drive if you enjoy driving because you do have to drive it. The road meanders through rural countryside, climbs some steep hills, has a few treacherous corners, a couple of picturesque lookouts over the Kaipara Harbour. 

Places to pull over are limited along this road but there is room to do so reasonably safely - just don't open the drivers door before checking if a vehicle is coming - just as the steel arches in Friday's post come into view.  And there's  plenty of space near the gate to The Farm. You can see a few sculptures without even getting out of the car. 

From the entrance you can see "Horizons" on the left of this shot, the fountain and "Mermaids" the blue structure. 

Move your eyes around to the right and there are those twelve "things" on the left of the Trumpet (in the shot at the top).  Don't know what they are and haven't been able to find out.  They are new on the skyline so maybe still under construction? Don't know.

Look further to the right and you see the huge steel struts (name unknown) with the elephant, giraffe and baby giraffe at its feet.

So that makes nine pieces of art right beside the road, just on the other side of an ordinary farm fence.  Mr Gibbs adds an artwork to his collection about once a year, so who knows what the future may hold.


  1. Apart from the animals - for which I obviously have a soft spot - I think the big steel struts (in the same shot) are my favourites so far.
    Looking forward to your next trip to Auckland to see some more!!

  2. I can be so forgetful at times. I couldn't recall where Alan Gibbs place was but I was so sure that I had been driving when I passed it. But I think the only time I've been on SH16 was with you driving so my memory has obviously been playing tricks. I still think his place is amazing though. In fact he's quite an amazing man one way and another.

  3. I think I like the countryside just as is. Interesting "pieces of art" though.

    Oh, and my last 2 posts are some shots I took at Bribie Island :)

  4. These are fascinating! I think it looks like a trumpet too.


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