Earlier this year, Patricia Piccinini's otherworldly pieces filled an entire floor of Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art. In September, one of her most ambitious works will pop up at Sydney's Carriageworks as well. Not to be left out, Victoria's TarraWarra Museum of Art in Healesville is also following suit, announcing 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.
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.
While the specifics haven't been revealed, Piccinini will unveil a major new sculpture — and if GOMA's The Field or Pneutopia are anything to go by, then expect something special. She'll also bring The Skywhale — her 34-metre-long, animal-shaped hot air balloon — back to Victoria for the first time in five years. It'll float through the sky in the lead up to the exhibition's opening, with further details to be advised closer to the date.
Image: Patricia Piccinini, Kindred (2018), silicone, fibreglass, hair, 103 x 95 x 128 cm, The Michael Buxton Collection, Melbourne. Courtesy the artist, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney