World renowned artist Patricia Piccinini shocked onlookers with a rather unusual new art installation. The international artist unveiled her new project, named ‘Skywhale’, recently to mixed opinions. The piece takes the form of a giant hot air balloon, which features the face of a turtle and several udders that resemble sagging breasts.
The controversial artist is well-known for creating giant pieces of art, but this is one of her biggest and most controversial to date. Skywhale was commissioned in celebration of Canberra’s 100th birthday. A balloon show was part of the planned events in the capital city of Australia.
Piccinini has stated that the sculpture was made to create a debate about our relationship with the natural world which surrounds us, along with issues surrounding genetic engineering and the implications of the growing science. It has certainly got people talking, with reactions ranging from the disturbed to the life affirming. It has been reported that no one who sees the work can leave without taking a good look.
Piccinini said of the hot air balloon:
“I imagine it against the clear blue canvas of a Canberra sky, odd yet somehow comforting. It plays on the idea that the relationship between planning and nature can lead to outcomes that are extraordinary in ways that are unanticipated.”
The work cost $100,000, which was a further source of controversy for Australian taxpayers who funded the gigantic piece of hot air balloon art – of which they do not get to claim ownership. Others have said that the beauty of the sculpture and the debate it stirred is well worth the cash.