GOMAs largest solo by an Australian artist

Gina Fairley

An exhibition of over 50 new and commissioned works by Patricia Piccinini announced – her largest in Australia.
GOMAs largest solo by an Australian artist
The Young Family 2002; Silicone, polyurethane, leather, plywood, human hair; Bendigo Art Gallery Collection, Bendigo. RHS Abbott Bequest Fund 2003; Courtesy the artist

With her strange hybrid humanoid creatures, Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini has become a household name in Australia, the creator of the infamous Skywhale that floated over skies in Canberra and Melbourne, Graham, who is assisting in reducing road deaths, and talking Australia to the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 with her work We Are Family.


While her work has been exhibited work has been exhibited extensively – both in Australia and abroad – a solo exhibition of significant scale has not been mounted in Australia.

Today Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) announced that it would present the most ambitious exhibition of Piccinini’s work to date. Titled Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection it will be unveiled next March.

It will also be GOMA’s largest ever solo exhibition by an Australian artist, and will feature more than 50 new and recent works by Piccinini, among them The Bond 2016 - a woman lovingly cradling an ambiguous creature, Big Mother 2005, The Comforter 2010, and The Carrier 2012.

Balasana 2009; Silicone, fibreglass, human hair, red-necked Wallaby, clothing, rug; Ed.1of3 Private collection, Melbourne Courtesy the artist

Additionally Piccinini will create a major new installation The Field, a landscape of some 3000 genetically modified flower sculptures that will draw visitors into a vast, multisensory environment; and a large-scale, newly commissioned inflatable sculpture – not unlike The Skywhale - to be suspended in GOMA’s atrium.

She will also make work for the Children’s Art Centre.

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said Patricia Piccinini was one of the most interesting Australian artists working today.
‘Piccinini explores the interrelationship of humanity and the natural world, and the social and moral impact of scientific research, genetics and biotechnology on people, animals and our planet,’ he said.   

Teenage Metamorphosis 2017; Silicone, fibreglass, human hair, found objects; Courtesy the artist, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco.

‘Working with a skilled team of collaborators and computer technology, Patricia’s art collapses the boundaries between reality and artifice to create captivating environments populated by strangely compelling, often hybridised, startlingly realistic sculptures, that are foreign and strange looking, yet seemingly familiar,' Saines continued.
‘The artworks in the GOMA exhibition will deliberately challenge our conceptions about what it means to be human and the power of empathy.’

Deputy Premier and Member for South Brisbane, Jackie Trad added: ‘The Palaszczuk Government is passionate about the arts and supporting our local creative community and we have invested $10.8 million over four years to bring blockbuster exhibitions like this one to GOMA.’

The exhibition will run from 24 March to 5 August 2018.

About the author

Gina Fairley covers the Visual Arts nationally for ArtsHub. Based in Sydney you can follow her on Twitter @ginafairley and Instagram at fairleygina.