The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019

Gigantic whale-like balloon creature by renowned artist Patricia Piccinini splits opinion in Australia
A sculpture by internationally renowned artist Patricia Piccinini (L) that is a 34m long, 23m high hot-air balloon called The Skywhale during a test flight near Mt Arapiles in the southern Australian state of Victoria. Skywhale, believed to be the first hot-aired balloon commissioned to celebrate a city's 100th birthday, has the face of a whale and the flowing form of a fish but is draped with pendulous udder-like appendages. Commissioned for the Centenary of Canberra, Skywhale is at least twice as big as a standard hot-air balloon, weighs half a tonne and used more than 3.5km of fabric. It took 16 people seven months and more than 3.3million stitches to design and make. AFP PHOTO/HO/CENTENARY OF CANBERRA/IAN MCKENZIE.

SYDNEY (AFP).- A gigantic whale-like balloon with pendulous udder-like appendages, designed to mark the centenary of Australia's capital Canberra, has divided opinion, with some branding it an ugly waste of money and others saying it is an inspiration.

Skywhale, believed to be the first hot-air balloon commissioned to celebrate a city's 100th birthday, has the flowing form of a giant pink-and-black-hued fish.

But its face could be that of a parrot, or a turtle, and the renowned artist who designed it, Patricia Piccinini, refuses to say just what it is.

Piccinini, whose work has been shown at the Venice Biennale and London's Victoria and Albert Museum and who recently exhibited works in the US, Turkey and London, said Skywhale was a piece about "wonder and nature".

"It's meant to inspire a sense of wonder in 'what is it?'" she told the ABC of the towering sculpture which used more than 3.5 kilometres (2.2 miles) of fabric and took 16 people some seven months to make.

At 34 metres long and 23 metres high, the Skywhale is at least twice as big as a standard hot-air balloon and weighs half a tonne.

The balloon, which was made in Bristol in the United Kingdom and cost Aus$172,000 (US$173,000) has sparked outpourings on social media, with some describing it as a waste of money while others enjoyed the sense of fun.

On the Daily Telegraph website, Tim Blair said it was the perfect symbol for the city which is home to the national parliament -- "a bloated, gaseous, multi-breasted monster feeding those who dwell in its poisonous shadow while leeching off the rest of us".

"I've seen more attractive road kill than the grotesque #skywhale," was once response on Twitter.

But the odd-looking balloon also drew support despite the fact that whales are never seen in Canberra, a landlocked city between Sydney and Melbourne.

"The naysayers will have a go at #skywhale with knee-jerk reactions about wasting public money. I think it's an imaginative & inspiring work," wrote one supporter on Twitter.

The Skywhale will be officially unveiled outside the National Gallery of Australia on Saturday as part of an international sculpture symposium, before making its first flight over Canberra on Monday.

The balloon, which has been designed to carry a pilot plus two passengers to an altitude of 3,000 feet, will be seen at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne later this year.

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

May 11, 2013

Picture Gallery at Sanssouci Park in Potsdam celebrates 250th anniversary with exhibition

Bonhams to sell the Ferrari that was John Lennon's first car at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Mahatma Gandhi's battered leather sandals up for auction at Mullock's in Britain on 21 May

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announces acquisition of major work by Richard Serra

Blain/Southern and Blain/Di Donna galleries to represent the Estate of Lynn Chadwick

ROAD PAINT: A selection of new paintings by James Nares on view at Paul Kasmin Gallery

Gigantic whale-like balloon creature by renowned artist Patricia Piccinini splits opinion in Australia

Exhibition presents works by artists based in Africa, China, Europe, India, and the Middle East

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opens two new exhibitions on American genre painting

First major indoor and outdoor UK exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Josephsohn opens

"Mark Greenwold: Murdering the World - Paintings and Drawings 2007-2013" opens at Sperone Westwater

'The Mark of Abel': Photographs by Lydia Panas on view at Eduard Planting Gallery in Amsterdam

Corcoran Gallery brings together all of David Levinthal's work on the subject of war

Galeri Lars Olsen opens exhibition of works by René Schmidt

Singapore artist who spray-painted roads spared jail term

Martin Wong: Human Instamatic soars at Grogan auction

Nationalmuseum announces new acquisition: Sculpture by Eva Hild

The Vogel Collection: Art from the Fifty Works for Fifty States opens at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Exhibition of illustrator and animator continues Norman Rockwell Museum's "Distinguished Illustrator Series"

"Everything Old is New Again Revised and Restored: The Art of Kathleen Gilje" opens at the Bruce Museum

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful