QVMAG opens throttle on adventurous new exhibition



Sometimes, the best photographs require a courageous photographer.

Tales from the adventurous life of Tasmanian Herbert John ('HJ') King (1892–1973) will be on display from this weekend at the Queen Victoria Museum at Inveresk.

Although HJ King's photographs are more commonly seen than many people realise, the photographer himself is less well-known.

This Saturday, HJ King: cameras and carburettors will open to the public at the Museum at Inveresk, taking visitors on an adventurous ride as they explore the life of Tasmanian photographer, local business owner, and motorcycle enthusiast, HJ King.

Known for his talent and intrepid approach to photography, QVMAG's collection of photography by King showcases Tasmania from both land and sky.

As an avid bicycle and motorcycle enthusiast, King worked for John King and Sons, a family-owned bicycle and motorcycle shop which eventually had its permanent home in Launceston's Kingsway.

Using his passion for photography to document his Statewide travels, King often used motorcycles, cars and aircraft to reach many inaccessible parts of Tasmania.

Well known for his experimentation with photographic processes and his award-winning black and white photography, King is also recognised for taking some of the earliest Australian examples of civilian aerial photography, right here in Launceston.

City of Launceston Deputy Mayor Danny Gibson said the exhibition would be a brilliant way for locals to learn about the adventurous life of HJ King.

'Many visitors of this exhibition will be in awe of HJ King's passion for adventure photography,' Cr Gibson said.

'This exhibition is a brilliant way to celebrate the history of our city and share stories of our community.'

QVMAG Curator of Public History Jon Addison said the exhibition was the culmination of several years of research and collection development.

'It's fantastic to be able to share the incredible life of HJ King with our visitors through this exhibition,' Addison said.

'King had a love for adventure and a passion for motorcycles, and thanks to his skill with cameras, he left behind a brilliant archive of images documenting these adventures right across Tasmania. 

'One of my favourite stories of King is how he undertook the first aerial survey of a city in Australia. In 1922, in pilot Fred Huxley's aircraft, he used a large-format camera pointing down through a hole cut in the floor of the plane to capture Launceston from the air using 81 individual photographs.'

HJ King: cameras and carburettors is on display at the Museum at Inveresk (2 Invermay Road) from Saturday 27 August 2022.

Issued Friday 26 August 2022.