“Horizons”: A Whimsical Sculpture Bringing Cartoon Magic to Life at New Zealand’s Gibbs Farm


This is not photoshop nor scenes from a cartoon. It is from real life!

The Gibbs Farm in New Zealand has presented its breathtaking collection of outdoor sculptures, which includes the astonishing work “Horizons,” a rare synthesis of art and nature. Created by renowned New Zealand sculptor Neil Dawson in 1994, this whimsical masterpiece has captivated visitors with its illusionary cartoon design and playful nature.

A prestigious collection of 27 gigantic sculptures at The Gibbs Farm, a private art sanctuary on a vast 400-hectare property, is valued at an amazing $450 million as a whole. The farm, the brainchild of founder Alan Gibbs, pushes the limits of artistic expression and has developed into a haven for art enthusiasts looking for a distinctive and immersive experience.

Among the amazing collection of sculptures, Dawson’s “Horizons” stands out. Dawson, who is renowned for his monumental public artworks that deftly interweave illusions, masterfully manipulates lines, positive and negative spaces, and the interaction of the sculpture with its surroundings. “Horizons” is a perfect example of this strategy since it combines illusions, simplicity, and shifting perspectives pleasingly.

“Horizons” is perched on one of the highest points in the sculpture park and is intimidating 15 meters in height and 36 meters in length. However, it defies expectations in appearance. The artwork, which is made of welded and painted steel, appears to defy the laws of materiality because it has the appearance of a cartoon and seems as if it might easily float on the wind like a feather.

It is almost impossible to tell the sculpture’s steel frame from a distance. “Horizons” has a lightness about it that draws admirers to its whimsy and humor. Drivers passing by Gibbs Farm on the nearby road are met by the sight of a massive steel piece that is whimsically reaching for the sky and guiding them toward another intriguing horizon that is out of their reach.

The inspiration behind “Horizons” stems from the ever-mesmerizing natural spectacle—the horizon itself. Dawson ingeniously infuses the sculpture with an illusory quality that creates the illusion of a giant piece of paper gracefully drifting toward viewers. Positioned atop one of the farm’s highest hills, “Horizons” entices visitors to gaze toward the horizon, where they can catch a glimpse of this colossal “paper” beckoning them closer.

The seamless blending of various forms and their rich associations within “Horizons” has solidified its status as an enduring and important piece of sculptural art. Over the decades, it has enthralled visitors with its ability to evolve alongside the changing environment, constantly offering fresh perspectives and unexpected delights.

The Gibbs Farm welcomes art enthusiasts to explore its captivating sculpture collection, providing free access to this remarkable fusion of art and nature.

As visitors wander the picturesque grounds, they find themselves immersed in a surreal world where sculptures like “Horizons” defy expectations, tantalize the senses, and transport viewers to a realm where the boundaries of imagination and reality blur.

The Gibbs Farm stands as a testament to the audacity and creative brilliance of artists and collectors alike. With “Horizons” and its sister sculptures, it continues to redefine what is possible in the realm of sculptural art, inviting us all to journey beyond the known horizons and into realms of imagination and wonder.

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