So a week or so ago I watched a super talk, via the ubiquitous Zoom, arranged by the Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery.* The speaker was a sculptor by the name of Joseph Ingleby. His name might not mean anything to you but a piece of his work will. For Joseph is the creator of the Turtle Storm sculpture that resides in Queen’s Park.

Definitely read this blog by Linda Kasmaty – From Seed to Steel is a super focus on the sculptor himself.

Read on for more about this particular sculpture.

Turtle Storm Sculpture - Queen's park Swindon

About the Turtle Storm Sculpture

Joe created Turtle Storm back in the 1980s for his degree show. Indeed, June 1986 saw Turtle Storm exhibited for the first time in Farnham. The sculpture is a response to the effects on a turtle colony from nuclear testing in the Pacific in the 1980s. It’s composed of irregular natural forms including turtle shells, making an abstract work.

Below are two of Joes’s sketches of the sculpture that he drew in November 1985.

The sculpture has an interesting back story. Here it is in bullets:

  • 1986-88   After Joe’s degree show the West Surrey College of Art and Design in Farnham, exhibited Turtle Storm outside the entrance to the college. 
  • 1988 – 89 The sculpture enjoyed a tenure outside Waverley Borough Council in Godalming, Surrey
  • 1989 – 94 A.R Dufty, the former head of the Armouries at the Tower of London bought the piece, in his capacity as curator at Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire. So for five years, Turtle Storm lived in the grounds of the home of William Morris. (NB: NOT the Swindon Advertiser William Morris. That’s a common misunderstanding.
  • 1994 Upon A.R. Dufty’s death, the curatorship of Kelmscott Manor passed to the William Morris Trust in Walthamstow. They decided not to exhibit anything there made outside of Morris’s lifetime (1834-96). As a result the Dufty family gave the sculpture to then Thamesdown Council in Swindon. They stored it while a new base of the council’s design was built for it in Queens Park. 
  • 1995 -present   Sculpture is sited in Queen’s Park in September 1995 with some collaboration and guidance from the artist.  The mayor of the time unveiled the work in a small ceremony. There was a small plaque installed at the time but that’s since disappeared. But never – there are plans to get another!
Turtle Storm Sculpture
Turtle Storm photos by Linda Kasmaty
Another view of Turtle Storm - taken by Linda Kasmaty

To find out more about Joseph Ingleby and to see more of his work visit his website here.

And if you’re on Insta find him there here:

Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery

*If you’ve any interest at all – even one as passing as mine ( I don’t profess to be ‘heavily’ into art) then the Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery are worth joining. Since the onset of the pandemic they’ve been offering talks via Zoom. These are free but they welcome donations. There’s a link in the top paragraph to their website.

And see our super page on the We Are Swindon website here.

The talk that Joseph gave to the Friends of the Museum and Art Gallery:

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