Ingo Hessel  - Sculptor  - portrait



Ingo Hessel was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. He was a rock and mineral collector as a child, and for years considered a career as a geologist or archaeologist. Trips to Europe as a teenager, however, generated a keen interest in art and architecture. He graduated in art history at Carleton University, specializing in Medieval art and architecture. In the early 1980s he developed an interest in Inuit (Canadian Eskimo) sculpture, which led to a career at the Canadian Inuit Art Information Centre of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada from 1983 to 1997.

Opportunities to observe Inuit carvers at work in the North and at southern workshops, and the desire to understand the art of sculpture firsthand, prompted Ingo to pursue studies in sculpture at the Ottawa School of Art (OSA) in 1990. He studied sculpture with John Sadler at the OSA, and has also worked with Carol Driscoll, Christoph Späth and Gary Haven Smith at the Carving Studio in West Rutland, Vermont. He resigned from the Canadian public service in 1998 in order to devote himself to making sculpture.

Ingo lived in Kyoto, Japan for eighteen months beginning in March 2001 to pursue his sculpture career more vigorously in a new environment. While in Japan, he made a study of contemporary Japanese sculpture and traditional garden design. This included travelling to the Isamu Noguchi studio museum in Mure, Shikoku twice and volunteering as a garden maintenance worker and tour guide at the renowned Daisen-in Zen temple. It was in Japan that he began working in two dimensions–on paper and canvas. Since moving back to Canada in August 2002 he has returned to Japan three times for exhibition and sculpture projects. His most recent project was an installation of basalt sculptures in the garden of the famous Honen-in Temple in Kyoto in December, 2003.

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