Comments 45

For the second half of our date, we met visual artist Patricia Piccinini at Brisbane’s GOMA

OK, that statement may not be strictly true… After our great night together, my date and I decided to treat ourselves to a café breakfast in the morning, then go to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA).

Siri was back on board being deceptive, so after yet another convoluted journey via a random overpass network (those things sure are hard to get off once you’re on), we lashed out on underground parking just to get rid of the city-car-driving responsibility ASAP (no traffic lights or roundabouts in my home town y’see).

Then in the Gallery foyer, the descent into Patricia Piccinini’s darkly vivid and futuristic imagination began:

Flowers? Brains? Sacrums? Aliens? Who knows. But it’s just the start…

A few years ago, ’17’ and I went to the Adelaide Art Gallery during his school holidays, and rounded a corner to see this sculpture ‘Mother’ displayed in a huge archway of her own; we’ve never forgotten the shocking image. Here she is again, no less disturbing to me:

Using silicone, fibreglass, human hair, and wax, Piccinini’s sculptures are arrestingly familiar yet eerily out of this world. Or are they? Her fascination with genetic modification, and the evolution of our science-based values illuminates the path we are heading down perhaps.

I delight in being so disturbed, without words. An artist’s vision piercing straight past intellect, into my visceral reactions. Fantastic, thank you.

I only took photos of a third of the sculptures, and none of her metallic fibreglass works, so please visit her website HERE for more images.

It’s her killer combination of evoking both empathy yet fear and/or revulsion which does it for me, every time. And seriously, those eyes glint, and the nostrils look like they’re about to flare; the skill is astounding.

Her largest piece for this exhibition was an installation with a slightly shifting floor, so that we observers created movement which brought the ‘flowers’ to life. Here’s the rationale for this work:

Grateful for Piccinini's wax sculptures in Brisbane at GOMA for art appreciation for wellbeing over 50

#GOMA #PatriciaPiccinini #PiccininiGOMA #FeelitatGOMA #Brisbane #art #wellbeing #gratitude #over50 @boneandsilver

Imagine being surrounded by dark and silence, except for a creaking floor as you walk, and the gentle swaying of 3000 of these…

Grateful for Piccinini's wax sculptures in Brisbane at GOMA for art appreciation for wellbeing over 50

#GOMA #PatriciaPiccinini #PiccininiGOMA #FeelitatGOMA #Brisbane #art #wellbeing #gratitude #over50 @boneandsilver

Then into a cave, where mutant ‘male’ creatures guard eggs, and hundreds of bat-like fungus hang from the walls:

But what’s this? Round another corner is the ubiquitous Australian caravan, set up for a summer holiday, including food stuffs and half-drunk cups of tea. But who’s camping in it?

We’ve interrupted them just after a moment of passion, creating the next generation in the time-honoured way, forced to peer in through the window to get a clear view, so the feeling of discomfort continues:

Grateful for Piccinini's wax sculptures in Brisbane at GOMA for art appreciation for wellbeing over 50

#GOMA #PatriciaPiccinini #PiccininiGOMA #FeelitatGOMA #Brisbane #art #wellbeing #gratitude #over50 @boneandsilver

She is a prolific and articulate visual artist, collaborating with a team of creators, including her husband, to bring her visions to life. I returned to my car, glancing about me in case one of her creatures scuttled out of the shadows.

What a wonderful weekend it was; I returned home to my desperately-lonely sulking grateful cat, and felt freshly-bonded with my city-slicker dating self.

When was the last time you took yourself to an exhibition or Art Gallery? Such an essential treat for writers to take an occasional break from all the words we love…

In complete gratitude for artists who shake up our world views, G xO


  1. These photographs are wicked evocative, thank you.

    As a family, we have visited Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute twice. The first time,three years ago, they had a breathtaking display of Lego brick sculptures. We also visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art; their Japanese tea house alone is worth the price of admission.

    But, it has a been a year or so…that needs to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, change it. I must admit I am a huge fan of sculpture- if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I’m definitely putting my hand up for sculptor! And Lego art is amazing hey? ’17’ and I went once when he was maybe ’13’… enjoy the next family outing Matt 🙂


  2. Wow. I would have loved to see such an exhibit! Her work is chilling yet fascinating. It’s hard to look away!

    I live near several world-class museums and go fairly often. The last exhibit I went to was in late December; it was a Gustav Klimt & Auguste Rodin exhibit at the Legion of Honor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you felt the power of her work L!

      And I’d have loved to see the Klimt Rodin exhibition- love both of them so much, lucky you 🙂


  3. I am completely fine with the humanoid sculptures, since I don’t necessarily have ideas about what a human would look like or what constitutes ‘attractive’, but the stalky things seem more like a probably-sentient fungal colony. Reminds me of the very interesting author Matthew Hughes’ work–

    Liked by 1 person

      • I can see that. Oh, I had a dream last night that you had written a sort of little play that I and a few women were in–very interesting and adventurous and light-hearted, and spontaneous. It was fun. Note to self: I HAVE to get out more too!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Really? That’s very interesting: last night I held the first meeting with 4 other women for a new performance group we want to experiment with! 5-7 women aged over 45 telling it like it is re the world/ politics/ageing/sex/love etc… and being funny too of course. My goodness you are tuned in 😃😎

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yup, apparently so (?!). There were a few women there, and five might be accurate. It seemed like there was a little roundish lumpy rug-thing or beanbag thing that served as a sort of podium or spot where the person would be on. My role in the show was to be the person who represented you in the show, if you know what I mean: you had written it, or some of it, but I was going to be the body on this round grey-brown carpet-thing, and the only line I remember was something about me saying a line that spoke as you. And yes, I’m in that age group and have been a stage manager, but that was not my role in this. I also saw you sort of explaining something by walking to this place, and then across from it, almost like you were talking to yourself, or showing where opposing folks would be, and perhaps you wore pale clothes. Unsure–I’d have to check if I wrote more detail down. It sounds like an intriguing project.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That

            Thank you so much for sharing! Isn’t it incredible how artistic minds just tune in to a creative cloud or something, and get our tendrils into the same vibe… I ❤ it. Keep dreaming!!!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, and perhaps an intriguing pastel visual projected onto a pale wall, and maybe a black famous male sports man being there briefly, which could also be ‘blackmail’. If those themes showed up, I want free tickets! ahaha!

            Liked by 1 person

          • ahaha! I USED to be very psychic, and then after getting cooked and all, it really slumped, which was fine since I had been maybe too open energetically previously. I am pleased that I got something intuitively right, although I am not trying to spy or anything. The previous night I dreamt that I magically beamed over to some other blogger’s house overseas to selfishly heat up a veggie potpie in the microwave for myself. I haven’t run that one by her yet–but if she starts a sideline in that kind of tourism, I want payment!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. That was … challenging. 😀 … we do have that visceral repugnance of the ‘other’ when it too closely resembles ourselves, but with such obvious, and sometimes subtle at first glance, differences. So glad the ‘two’ of you had such a great time. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I should answer your question but am too disturbed by the images! It’s late here and the thought of sculpture and human hair is … is….haha, this art clearly is confrontational 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I first saw her work in Adelaide; they bought one of her sculptures, and she definitely had a couple of exhibitions there while I lived there, so fingers crossed they do!

      PS: Keep trying to finish your questions sorry and not quite getting there… aiming for today, I promise xx

      Liked by 1 person

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