Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung
Roses at the Cottage

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

The remarkable Inge King - and more!

Recently I joined a small after-hours-tour to see an exhibition of our 'national living treasure' - the 98 year old Melbourne sculptor Inge King at the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia) at Federation Square. What an opportune time to visit as it was the night before the Winter Solstice - 22 June. The main foyer of the NGVA features her newest works - Cellestial - which were created in 2011. This remarkable woman - who was born in Berlin and migrated to Australia in 1951 has changed the way we see public spaces not only in Melbourne but world-wide.
Beautifully spaced throughout the ground floor - spinning on their axes


The polished finish makes you want to stroke them (allowed!)
We spent a special hour with the curator of the exhibition who had been taught by Inge's husband Grahame who is also featured in the joint exhibition. He was an artist and master printmaker in his own right.
Grahame King - Solstice 1973
I loved one of the stories of Inge's beginnings with welding. Grahame apparantly swapped one of his paintings with their neighbour who had a welder for sale ensuring Inge could begin another stage of her sculpting. And what a stage that became. It was the start of her welding herself into our lives with some amazing and familiar icons in this city.

She works from marquets - rather than drawing - and you can see why.
The Black Sun marquets - from little things (right) big things grow - and that's before the final sculpture

Her early welded sculptures were rougher around the edges that her later works (I thought this looked like suitcases!)

Simple and strong
One of my favourites - and perhaps most recognisable - is 'Forward Surge' a massive sculpture on the lawn between the Arts Centre and the Concert Hall. She loves that it is climbed upon - although she recognises that the powers-that-be hate having to repaint it continuously! It was chosen by the architect of the Arts Centre - Roy Grounds and Eric Westbrook the Director of the National Gallery of Victoria. They chose well.
Forward Surge - so well known - between the Arts Centre and the Concert Hall - but just look at those hideous apartments
 Many years ago I travelled on a tour of Italy and France where our tour guide was Judith Trimble who was a lecturer in architecture at Deakin University. She wrote a wonderful book about Inge King and it is now in the Cottage 'library' for you to peruse. If I recall it was the 'expansion' of a thesis she had done. I've lost touch with Judy but I recommend a quiet few moments to come to grips with the output of this amazing artist.
Amulet bracelet - 1960

The exhibition is free and ends on 31 August - I encourage you to stop by. It begins on the ground floor as the Celestial sculptures are so heavy they couldn't go upstairs. As it was they needed to be spaced carefully to ensure the floor didn't collapse. You will find her work on 3 floors of the gallery - so work your way up!

Afterwards I wandered into Fed Square where their winter programme The Light in Winter was still in full swing (sadly the instillations have now been removed) There were some lovely instillations and this is my favourite.
On a cold and clear winter's night - Radiant Lines by Asif Khan lights up the night
Keep an eye out next year for Federation Square's annual winter programme The Light in Winter. It is directed by a former Melbourne Festival of Arts Director - the renowned Robyn Archer.

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