In 1959, the abstract design of this four-meter high sculpture by Margel Hinder set a striking, modern tone for the entryway of the Western Assurance Building in Pitt Street, Sydney. Conceived as spanning floor to ceiling, Growth Forms is less of a column than a porous, organic structure that can be likened to the natural forms of bones or thorns. In the 1950s and ‘60s Hinder became one of only a few women in Australia to attract commissions for large public sculpture and sculptural fountains. Growth Forms was the first of several major commissions Hinder was awarded in this period.

In 1980, the Western Assurance building was redeveloped, and the sculpture was nearly destroyed. Through the intervention of the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the New South Wales State Architect, Growth Forms was saved from being cut up for scrap. It was moved to the colonnade of the State Office Block in Macquarie Street, where it remained until that building was demolished in 1997. The sculpture’s final transfer, to the UTS Art Collection, was made in 1998 with endorsement from the former NSW State Architect and UTS Chancellor, Professor Peter Johnson.

In addition to the sculpture itself, the UTS Art Collection is also fortunate to have one of the maquettes (small scale models) for Growth Forms created by Hinder during the design process.