A Gossamer connection between Shearwaters and the Rings of Jupiter

Inge King sculptures: Shearwater, Rings of Jupiter and Sun Ribbon sculpture (University of Melbourne)

Respected and prolific German-born Australian sculptor Inge King, was born on 26th November 1918. Inge’s extensive commissions are prominent throughout Victoria. The Shearwater sculpture (see left) can be found on Southbank Promenade, Melbourne.  Originally commissioned by Esso,  it comprises polychrome steel, 780 x 670 x 350 cm. 

Circa 1936, Inge studied sculpture under Hermann Nonnenmacher (1892–1988) in Germany and in 1937 was admitted to the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts. Two years later she was in London studying at the Royal Academy until its closure during the War years.   Moving to Scotland in 1941,  she joined the Glasgow School of Art, studying under Benno Schotz. Shortly afterwards, whilst at the Abbey Arts Centre in Hertsfordshire, Inge met her future husband, Australian artist Grahame King. They moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1951.

Inge’s style follows a non-figurative contemporary sculpture style.  She became a member of the Centre 5 group originally convened by Julius Kane in Melbourne which also included Lenton Parr, Norma Redpath, Vincas Jomantas, Clifford Last and Teisutis Zikaras.  The image featured above, Rings of Jupiter (3),  is on show at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. It is sculpted out of stainless steel in 2006 at Warrandyte, Melbourne.

  • You can find many of Inge’s large-scale works located in plazas, the Victorian Arts Centre and at many university campuses within Australia.
  • Inge has held over 26 solo exhibitions including a retrospective at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1992 and has participated in over 60 group shows throughout Australia and New Zealand; as well as major cities such as London and New York.
  • Inge was awarded the Australian Arts Council Visual Arts Emeritus Award in 2009.
  • There is also a book “Inge King: Small Sculptures and Macquettes” by Judith Trimble and Ken McGregor. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. (ISBN 978-1-921394-26-3).

For further examples of  sculpture see my Sculpture and Street Furniture page

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