Virginia King

Phantom Fleet, 2016-2017

hand finished and electropolished Marine Grade 316 stainless steel, 3mm, removable Marine Grade 316 stainless steel base
850-450 x 560 x 4,500 mm
740-360 x 520 x 3,800 mm
680-280 x 450 x 3,420 mm

This is a fleet of filigreed and branching vessels that connect the nautical, botanical and anatomical worlds. While the forms suggest boat hulls and empty seedpods, associated with water and land, the installation makes reference to environmental migration, endurance, and loss. Suspended above the Waitemata, the vessels imply rising seas, and the urgency of addressing global warming. Appearing stranded in space, the empty vessels and their shadows allude to immigration and related situations of isolation and neglect. Surrounded by the elements of air, earth and water and exposed against the sky, Phantom Fleet also implies the presence of archetypal forms evoking ancient mythologies, and echo arrival and departure, survival and hope.

– Virginia King

Virginia King

born Kawakawa, New Zealand
Lives and works in Auckland and Waiheke Island

Over the past thirty years Virginia King has become known for her outdoor sculptures that evoke the fragility of the Earth’s eco-systems. A pivotal experience for her practice was meeting scientists researching the effects of Global Warming on marine micro-organisms during an Antarctic Artist Fellowship in 1999. Her work in timber, stainless steel, bronze, stone and paper abstracts and magnifies the complexity of natural forms and is informed by mythology, history, science and literature.

King has a Bachelor of Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland. King exhibits nationally and internationally. Recent significant public commissions include: Scroll, Medical School Library, University of Auckland (2016); Willinga Plume, Canberra Airport and Heart of Oak, Ohinetahi, Governors Bay, Canterbury (2014), Woman of Words, Lambton Quay, Wellington and Hinaki Guardian, Hobsonville Wharf (2013).