Kiwi park in Wall St jour­nal

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - STAFF RE­PORTERS

When you get there, gi­raffes and buf­falo share the rolling Kaipara land­scape with the sculp­tures.

And now the Wall St Jour­nal

rates it among the world’s best.

Kiwi mil­lion­aire Alan Gibbs’ sculp­ture park, Gibbs Farm, on the Kaipara Har­bour, north Auck­land, is the sub­ject of a fea­ture by Tony Perot­tet in June’s WSJ Mag­a­zine.

The ar­ti­cle com­pares the thou­sand-acre park, which fea­tures huge sculp­tures by some of the world’s most fa­mous artists, to other in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned sculp­ture parks in­clud­ing New York’s Storm King park, Naoshima in Ja­pan and Brazil’s In­ho­tim.

Gibbs, best known for mak­ing am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cles, is pre­sented as one of a num­ber of wealthy art pa­trons whose tastes have shaped the in­ter­na­tional art scene in re­cent years.

Perot­tet said Gibbs was unique among his con­tem­po­raries for the the hands-on ap­proach he takes to mak­ing art on his Kaipara sec­tion.

‘‘The Gibbs Farm is as much a part of the art ex­pe­ri­ence as the world-class sculp­tures [Gibbs] has com­mis­sioned,’’ Perot­tet said.

‘‘And Gibbs him­self is a fasci- nat­ing fig­ure, quite un­like of the other wealthy arts phi­lan­thropists who are chang­ing the art market. The col­lab­o­ra­tive process be­tween Gibbs and artist and the artist’s re­sponse to the phys­i­cal land­scape at Kaipara def­i­nitely ac­counts for the unique­ness of his out­door gallery.

‘‘Gibbs is as­suredly part of the cre­ative process, which is a real point of dif­fer­ence.’’

Artists are of­ten flown into New Zealand to stay for sev­eral sum­mers, giv­ing them am­ple time to come up with work that com­ple­ments the dra­matic land­scape. Renowned artists in­ter­viewed for the fea­ture in­cluded Anish Kapoor.

Kapoor, whose mas­sive red trum­pet-like sculp­ture Dis­mem­ber­ment, Site 1 re­quired the ex­ca­va­tion of one of the farm’s hill­sides, praised Gibbs’ will­ing­ness to ‘‘mess with the land­scape’’.

Perot­tet’s ar­ti­cle noted the in­ter­ac­tions of farm an­i­mals with the sculp­tures, with yaks sharp­en­ing their horns on the 88-foot arches of French artist Bernar Venet’s 2012 sculp­ture 88.5 ARC x 8.

Gibbs said he hoped to com­mis­sion works with in­creas­ing fre­quency in the com­ing years.

Vis­i­tors to the park have to book well in ad­vance.

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