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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Skywhale is Coming to Melbourne

An important community service announcement that giant boobs in the sky are funny.
By Meg Watson
November 13, 2013
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By Meg Watson
November 13, 2013
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There are few things in life more exciting than The Skywhale. That cheeky expression, the majestic way it glides across the horizon, those enormous walloping breasts — The Skywhale is not just a novelty. It is a symbol of hope; a reminder to all well-endowed sea mammals that life can and will get better. But it is also a reminder to us: an important community service announcement that giant boobs in the sky are funny.

For those who have been somehow left out of the loop on the legend of The Skywhale, the work is a hot air balloon that measures 34 metres in length and 23 metres in height. Commissioned for Canberra's centennerary celebrations in May of this year, the work was designed by Australian artist Patricia Piccinini whose work often deals with this same confluence between the natural and the artificial. Often known for her early work, Protein Lattice (more colloquially known as the one with an ear on the rat), Piccinini is well-regarded in the art world for her exploration of the surreal (see also The Carrier and The Young Family).

On Monday December 2, The Skywhale will be tethered to the ACCA Forecourt from 7-9am ahead of a conversation between artist Patricia Piccinini and Creative Director of the Centennary of Canberra, Robyn Archer. Tickets are just $15 (or $8 for students), and the cost will conveniently include a breakfast pastry.

While The Skywhale was unsuprisingly met with a divided reception upon its first launch — 'out of touch with community values', 'ugly', 'how is this giant-breasted mutant animal even relevant to our town of roundabouts and lakes?' — Melbourne may provide the loving environment the misunderstood beast so desires.

As Robyn Archer once said, "it provokes people, it's passionate and people go 'I don't know what it is, therefore, I'm scared of it' or 'what is it', or 'it shouldn't be there', but [...] life is always about the questions not the given answers".

Personally, we think The Skywhale is the breast thing to come out of Canberra for years.

Published on November 13, 2013 by Meg Watson

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