North Auckland’s Gibbs Farm is visually arresting in and of itself: the land is on Kaipara Harbour, which fills the entire western horizon. When the shallow waters recede, rocky shores reflect light off the water. Aggressive seaside weather tends to batter the property. Landowner Alan Gibbs didn’t originally picture the farm as a canvas displaying commissioned art—but as his art collecting accelerated, he sought minimalist artists to build site-specific sculptures. According to Gibbs, “the challenge for the artists is the scale of the landscape; it scares them initially.”
Neil Dawson’s “Horizons,” located on one of the property’s highest points, has been a Gibbs Farm feature since its 1994 construction. The 15-meter-high, welded steel piece is a mammoth trompe l’oiel—it recalls a spare piece of corrugated iron settling onto the solid ground. Dawson focuses on large-scale, site-specific sculptures, and lucky passersby can see his work from the street by Gibbs Farm.