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Virginia King

Virginia King is an accomplished New Zealand sculptor working mainly in wood, stone, stainless steel and aluminium. While born in 1946 in the small Northland town of Kawakawa her early education was spent in schools in Hutt City and Wellington before, at the age of eighteen, attending university at the Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. King has exhibited work at several of the Waiheke Island Sculpture on the Gulf events and on three of these occasions been awarded the People Choice Award. A number of Kings sculptures utilize elements found in nature, leaves, ferns and shells, magnified to a large scale but retaining their delicate structure. This connection to nature has included large sculptural forms designed to be suspended in the air or free floated in water. In 2008 King was selected to design and build a memorial sculpture for the late David Lange, New Zealand Prime Minister 1984-1989. The sculpture, installed outside the Otahuhu Recreation Centre, was conceived as an outdoor room and incorporates a suspended stainless steel vessel laser cut with words from Lange's maiden speech to parliament and from his Oxford Union Debate. The concept of laser cut words was continued in her 2013 figurative sculpture 'Woman of Words' which celebrates the life and works of Katherine Mansfield by incorporating quotations from her journals and short stories. With a portfolio of over 30 public commissions her outdoor sculptures can be found in major centres throughout New Zealand and Australia.