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Skywhales national tour program announced
Patricia Piccinini, Skywhalepapa, 2020. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra commissioned with the assistance of The Balnaves Foundation 2019. Purchased 2020 © Patricia Piccinini.

CANBERRA.- Now that Skywhalepapa and his babies have joined Skywhale, Patricia Piccinini’s skywhale family is complete – and ready to #HolidayHere with a two-year Australia-wide tour.

From metropolitan cities to rural Australia, Skywhales: Every heart sings is a National Gallery of Australia Touring Event that will reach audiences across the country, made possible by National Tour Principal Partner The Naomi Milgrom Foundation, with the support of Visions of Australia.

Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, which debuted together in April,will fly one last time in Canberra on Saturday, 3 April before the first stop of their tour in Albury on 17 April.

“From the sunny Gold Coast beaches to the red deserts of Alice Springs, Australians across this vast land will be able to see the skywhales soar over our iconic landscapes,” said Nick Mitzevich, Director, National Gallery of Australia.

"The skywhales have become a part of our country’s contemporary culture. With touring initiatives such as Skywhales: Every heart sings, we have the ability to connect with all Australians and elevate the role art can play in our lives.”

Mr Mitzevich thanked The Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Visions of Australia for supporting the national tour of Skywhales: Every heart sings,as well as The Balnaves Foundation, who supported the commission of Skywhalepapa and the Canberra season of flights.

“Skywhales: Every heart sings is an extraordinary project,” said Naomi Milgrom AC. “Cultural initiatives such as this tour of the now iconic skywhales allow more Australians a chance to experience art in a new way. By bringing extraordinary art into the everyday, we can enrich the lives of individuals, nourish communities and boost economies across the country. I am delighted to support this important and inspiring moment in Australian art—one that will sing in the hearts of all who encounter it for years to come.”

Following the national tour launch flight in association with Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) Albury, skywhales will travel together to 11 regional venues including: Home of the Artson the Gold Coast; Cairns Art Gallery; Maitland Regional Art Gallery;Walkway Gallery in Bordertown; Araluen Art Centre in Alice Springs; M Pavilion in Melbourne; Tamworth Regional Art Gallery;the Hamilton Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

All venues and dates are COVID-19 permitting and weather dependent, and therefore subject to change.

As artist Patricia Piccinini says: “one of the things about the skywhales is that you need to be lucky to see them.The wind and weather must be right, essentially nature must allow us to see them and we cannot control that. We are lucky if we get to see them, just like we are lucky if we get to see so many of the wonders of the natural world. It reminds us that not everything is just for us whenever we want it. And that we should be grateful. I really love that.”

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