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Patricia Piccinini's Otherworldly 'Skywhale' Flew Over the Yarra Valley This Morning

And the 34-metre-long air balloon may be making a second flight this weekend.
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
November 22, 2018
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
November 22, 2018

For the first time in five years, artist Patricia Piccinini's floating artwork Skywhale is back in Victoria. The Skywhale isn't any old artwork either, it's a 34-metre-long hot air balloon in the form of a large fleshy animal — and it just flew high above the Yarra Valley.

Taking off in the wee hours (when you were hopefully still curled up in bed) from Dixons Creek, it made its way across the Yarra River travelling from Yarra Glen to Tarrawarra. The theriomorphic balloon isn't floating here by chance, either, it's in the Valley to promote Piccinini's latest exhibition at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, dubbed Patricia Piccinini and Joy Hester: Through Love..., which kicks off this Saturday, November 24.

On display until March 11, 2019, the exhibition not only focuses on Piccinini's weird and wonderful works — that tread the thin line between humanity and animal — but on fellow Australian artist Joy Hester. If the latter's name doesn't sound familiar, she was a Melbourne artist who passed away in 1960, favoured brushwork and ink on paper, and is considered one of Piccinini's key influences.This'll be the first time anywhere in the world that a gallery has explored the connection between the pair, with more than 50 pieces on display.

But back to our Skywhale. Here it is floating in all its fleshy glory today:

View this post on Instagram

#Skywhale @patricia.piccinini @tarrawarrama

A post shared by Victoria Lynn Art Projects (@victorialynnartprojects) on Nov 21, 2018 at 11:48am PST

If you missed it this AM, it might be taking flight once again this weekend. While the flight is dependant on the weather, if it does takeoff, it'll be doing so very early in the morning (around 5.45am). For updates, keep an eye on the TarraWarra Museum of Art Facebook page.

Image: Patricia Piccinini Skywhale, 2013, courtesy of the artist, the Australian Capital Territory Government, Tolarno Galleries and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

Published on November 22, 2018 by Samantha Teague
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