Katherine Mansfield Sculpture

Katherine Mansfield once again graces the streets of Wellington

The KMS is an officially recognised partner and sponsor of the sculpture documentary produced by Pearl Button Productions in NZ. The documentary charting the creation of Virginia King’s sculpture of KM was premiered at the Wellington KM conference in February 2013.

Please see the attached pdf for further details. The production team are still looking for sponsorship, so if you are able to, please do consider supporting this worthwhile creative endeavour.

‘Woman of Words’, a sculpture commemorating the life and work of Wellington and New Zealand’s most internationally recognised literary figure, Katherine Mansfield, has been  erected in Midland Park on Lambton Quay in Wellington.

Following a rigorous selection process, a panel led by the Wellington Sculpture Trust chose an evocative work by Auckland sculptor Virginia King. Virginia is a leading New Zealand sculptor with her own international reputation, with public artworks in New Zealand and Australian cities; as well as other international commissions.

The commemorative project was a partnership between the Trust, the Katherine Mansfield Society, and the Wellington City Council.

Woman of Words is a contemporary sculpture; a three metre high stainless steel figure, depicting Katherine Mansfield striding along the Quay. The entire surface of the sculpture is laser cut with words and phrases from her writing presenting information about Mansfield the writer, the woman and her New Zealand childhood.

During the day the sculpture reflects the movement, colours and ambience of the surrounding area. At night, Woman of Word becomes an illuminated lantern. Amber lights placed below the base of the silver figure reflect off the inner surfaces of the filigreed sculpture to create a surface of radiant silhouetted words.

Katherine Mansfield’s ambition was to be seen ‘first as a writer and then as a woman’; with this in mind, Virginia says of her work she has aspired to capture the essence of Katherine Mansfield while celebrating her literary heritage.

Chair of the Wellington Sculpture Trust Neil Plimmer says the artwork is a major addition to Wellington’s collection of world class public sculpture. “It is new territory for the Trust to commission a work commemorating a single figure, and it is a matter of pride for the city to see one of its most famous daughters celebrated in this way.

“We are also delighted to have a work in Wellington by such a respected sculptor as Virginia King. She is a master in her creative approach and equally in her skill with her chosen materials,” Mr Plimmer said.

Katherine Mansfield sculpture - speech by sculptor Virginia King.doc

Katherine Mansfield Sculpture -  speech by KMS Honorary Chair Dr Sarah Sandley.docx