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