Horizons by Neil Dawson
Ever since I was introduced to the movie version of the Lord of the Rings,  directed by Peter Jackson, I've had a longing to head to New Zealand and soak myself in the amazing landscapes which formed the backdrop of Middle Earth. Now, thanks to a picture in the Culture section of a recent Time magazine, I have another huge reason to think seriously about visiting this lovely country. Turns out there's some amazing sculpture to be had as well.

The photo above shows just one of the many pieces of art to be found on Gibbs Farm, whose 1,000 acres hosts myriads of sculptures, fashioned by more than 20 artists. Each piece was commissioned by Alan Gibbs, who worked with the artists to conceive something which would flow with the land, on a scale often beyond their previous work. Te Turihangi Contour, by Richard Serra, was several years in the making, and required not only finding an iron manufacturer who could create 20 feet tall pieces of steel, but innovative engineering to place the pieces in the contours of the hill it rests upon.

Arches, by Andy Goldsworthy, also caught my eye. I love how the arches move from the tidal flats into the sea; pictures show the movement of water against the stone, and then the starkness as it rises from the sand. According to the artist, this work "looks back along lines of geneaology, migration and architectural traditions." But the "gradual weathering of stone by water, wind and fetch...brings the viewer face-to-face with the ever-changing character and power of its surroundings" which gives an immediacy to the work as well.

There are videos as well as a brief history of the Gibb's farm project at their website here. Links are also made to the artists whose work graces this impressive and innovative sculpture park. I hope you enjoy browsing as much as I did.

Te Tuhirangi Contour by Richard Serra
Arches by Andy Goldsworthy

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