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By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2018

Patricia Piccinini and Joy Hester: Through Love…

By Sarah Ward
August 29, 2018

in partnership with


Patricia Piccinini's otherworldly pieces have popped up all across Australia, and now it's the TarraWarra Museum of Art's turn to host. The not-for-profit public art gallery has announced an almost four-month-long showcase of the artist's efforts from November this year — including the return of her unmissable installation work The Skywhale. The 34-metre-long, animal-shaped hot air balloon will float through the sky in the lead up to the exhibition's opening, so keep an eye out.

Called Patricia Piccinini and Joy Hester: Through love…, the exhibition will display from November 24, 2018 to March 11, 2019. It'll not only focus on the woman with an incredibly distinctive view on all things weird and wonderful — and on the thin line between humanity and animal kind that's engrained in her creative portfolio — 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. With the showcase broadly focused around the theme of love and intimacy as well, visitors will get to see the evolution of Aussie art through the output of the two inimitable figures, with Hester's ink and paper works considered touchstones for Piccinini's sculptures, photographs, videos and drawings. In both camps, attendees will be treated to something either rare or brand new. Much of Hester's work is rarely seen, though her famous couple-focused series Love 1949 and Lovers 1955–56 will be on display. As for Piccinini, she'll be represented by both new and existing large-scale pieces.

Piccinini will also unveil a major new work, Sanctuary, at this exhibition. The work is comprised of a wall print, a graphite on paper drawing and, the focal point, a sculpture of two figures embracing. The elderly couple depict characteristics of both humans and bonobos — an endangered ape species known for its intimate relationships. Through this work, Piccinini is exploring human relationships with animals, environment and technology.

Images: Rick Liston, Installation view of Patricia Piccinini, Kindred, 2018; Rick Liston, Installation view of Patricia Piccinini, The Lovers, 2011; Rick Liston, Installation view of Patricia Piccinini, The Young Family, 2002; Rick Liston, Installation view of Patricia Piccinini, Sanctuary, 2018; Rick Liston, View of artwork flying in Yarra Valley on November 24, 2018, Patricia Piccinini, Skywhale, 2013; Rick Liston, Installation view of Patricia Piccinini, The Young Family, 2002. All images courtesy of the artist, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney


For more spring places, spaces and events to discover in regional Victoria visit Your Happy Space.

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