In a 1972 interview Hinder defined sculpture as aesthetic expression in three dimensions.
Margel Hinder was an Australian-American sculptor who is most noted for her large-scale public works in the modernist abstract style. Born in New York, Hinder met her husband, renowned Australian modernist and abstract artist and sculptor, Frank Hinder, at a summer school in America in 1930. They married and returned to Australia in 1934. Margel and Frank Hinder became a mutually supportive art partnership, as well as both making significant contributions to Australian contemporary art in their own right.
Bathurst Regional Art Gallery is fortunate to include 11 smaller sculptures by Margel Hinder and over 30 works by her husband, Frank, in its permanent collection. The most recent acquisitions are three 1977 abstract pieces by Margel Hinder titled Monoliths. An oxidised copper surface gives these graceful plaster forms an intriguing texture and colour.
Today we can see Margel's large-scale metal sculptures in many familiar public places including: Free-Standing Sculpture in front of the Reserve Bank, Martin Place, Sydney; Sculptural Form, in the Woden Town Square, Canberra; and the Captain James Cook Memorial Fountain, in Civic Park, Newcastle.
Arriving in Australia in 1934, Hinder was captivated by Australian wildlife and sculpted birds and animals in wood. In the 1940s she experimented with abstract forms using modern materials. She "sought movement, light and spontaneity and so abandoned wood and embraced wire, plastics and metal".
Her later works included "revolving sculptures through whose interlocked forms spaces changed and changing shadows were cast. Nature, such as spider webs, often inspired her work".
In her June 1995 obituary, Renee Free wrote: "Hinder will be remembered both as a sculptor and a strong, wise and compassionate twentieth century woman."
Words by Denise Payne, BRAG Volunteer Gallery Guide.
Select one of Hinder’s works from the exhibition and redesign it as a fountain.
This exhibition features four works by Margel Hinder. Review each work in terms of material, form, space and success. exhibition.
Hinder produced several large public art commissions. Select one work and write a letter to someone who hasn’t seen the sculpture before. Note: Pay close attention to your choice of descriptive words – you might like to use the glossary.
Australian sculpture scene in 1969 video – Margel Hinder interview starts at 14 mins 40 secs.
After watching the above video select one of Hinder’s works from the exhibition and redesign it as a site specific fountain.
Many sculptors start a piece using assemblage methods or start from drawings. Discuss the following comment from Hinder: Usually I have pencil and paper by my side and I have fuse wire and soldering iron and shim – and I begin developing planes and shapes; and then I have to draw and begin scribbling away to find some way through.
Margel’s husband Frank was also a respected artist and the couple had several exhibitions together throughout their careers. Discuss this unique duo in terms of their creative influence on each other.
IMAGES: Portrait: Albert Tucker Frank & Margel Hinder (detail) c. 1939-45. photograph gelatin silver contact print. 4 x 5 cm. State Library of Victoria. Margel Hinder Sketch for Box Construction 1954. copper shim, solder. 17 x 19 x 16.5 cm. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Small Sculpture Collection Purchase. Photo: Clare Lewis. Margel Hinder Maquette for Bronze Figure 1955. solder, copper shim and wire. 26 x 19 x 11 cm. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Small Sculpture Collection Purchase. Margel Hinder Monoliths 1977. copper shim. 35 x 99 x 11 cm. Gift of Lin Bloomfield under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Photo: Clare Lewis. Photo: Clare Lewis.Margel Hinder Sketch for Three Form Revolve - Form 1 1969. copper shim, solder and brass. 19 x 12 x 11 cm. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Small Sculpture Collection Purchase. Photo: Clare Lewis.