Artist's Statement

During the past 30 years I have created a diverse range of site specific sculpture, commissioned for public locations and by private collectors. Opportunities and experiences that have enriched my practice have included several International Sculpture Symposia and Artist Residencies.

From the creation of my fragile Artist's Books during the 1990s, there has become a developing contrast between my temporary artworks and permanent commissioned sculpture. The written word has continued to be a feature of my artwork.

The Antarctic Artist Fellowship in 1999 was a seminal experience. Scientists I met during a visit to Cape Evans, sent images of diatoms, the algae at the beginning of the food chain, to inform the Antarctic Heart series.

During the Rising Seas-Floating Land Symposium in 2009 at Lake Cootharaba, Queensland, I created an installation of 'word strings' an outdoor lake-side room using strings of words; several floated on the lake and others suspended from overhead paper bark trees, cast text shadows over granite boulders along the waters edge.

This temporary works aspect of my practice, offers an interactive and experiential relationship to my work and to the eco system in which these works are placed. The objective of these works is to bring to the attention of the viewer, the fragility of our environment, and the global need for stewardship and conservation.

As resident Artist in 2011 on Big Island, Hawaii, assisted by the local community, I completed two large ephemeral 'cloaks'; positive and negative floating structures to reference the world's endangered coral reefs. The stenciled artworks were initially filmed in the moving currents of Keauhou Bay and later at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the City of Refuge. Here at low tide, the artworks were filmed floating in tranquil reflection pools, formed when black lava flowed from the volcano to the ocean.

The importance of these works is in the collective environmental stewardship that they promote between those who make and those who watch.

I have continued to reference a number of marine micro-organisms, corals and foraminifera in my work. My vessel forms become symbols of exploration and migration, of nurturing and protection; symbols of life and survival.

Virginia King 2013

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