Publications
Embrace the Unknown: Patricia Piccinini and the Aesthetics of Care by Dea Antonson
“Your Place Is My Place.” Rosi Braidotti in conversation with Patricia Piccinini by Rosi Braidotti and Patricia Piccinini
Curious Affection by Peter McKay
Just Because Something Is Bad, Doesn't Mean It Isn't Good by Basak Doga Temur
Speculative Fabulations for Technoculture's Generations by Donna Haraway
The Naturally Artificial World by Laura Fernandez Orgaz and Patricia Piccinini
In Another Life by Patricia Piccinini
Border Patrol by Stella Brennan
We Are Family: Patricia Piccinini at the 50th Biennale of Venice by Linda Michael
Curatorial Essays
Between the Shadow and the Soul by Anna Mustonen
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Some thoughts about my practice by Patricia Piccinini
Life Clings Closest by Patricia Piccinini
Patricia Piccinini & Joy Hester: Through Love by Victoria Lynn
The Shadows Calling by Patricia Piccinini
Those Who Dream by Night by Patricia Piccinini
Public Lecture - Tokyo Art University by Patricia Piccinini
Patricia Piccinini's Offspring by Peter Hennessey
Fast forward: accelerated evolution by Rachel Kent
Modified Terrain by Mark Feary
Autoerotic by Amanda Rowell
One Night Love by Linda Michael
Atmosphere by Juliana Engberg
Biopshere by Edward Colless
The NESS Project and the Birth of Truck Babies by Hiroo Yamagata
Patricia Piccinini - Early Installations by Peter Hennessey
Plastic Life: Patricia Piccinini & Christopher Langton by Jacqueline Millner
Artist Statement by Patricia Piccinini
The Breathing Room by Victoria Lynn
Articles
One Night Love by Nikos Papastergiadis
Patricia Piccinini: Ethical Aesthetics by Jacqueline Millner
Interview with Patricia Piccinini and Peter Hennessey by Daniel Palmer
Interviews
We are all connected by Una Meistere
Interview for Fine Spind Denmark by Sophie Normann Christensen and Patricia Piccinini
Interview with Pauline Bendsen for Jyllands-Posten (Denmark) Jan 21, 2019 by Pauline Bendsen and Patricia Piccinini
Interview with Alvaro Fierro for JOIA Magazine 49 (Chile) 2018 by Alvaro Fierro and Patricia Piccinini
Interview with The Condition Report by Patricia Piccinini and The Condition report
Patricia Piccinini interviewed by Jane Messenger by Jane Messenger
Artist Statements
We Travel Together 2021
Chromatic Balance 2019
Shoeforms 2019
Sanctuary 2018
Kindred 2018
The Loafers 2018
The Couple 2018
The Field 2018
The Bond duplicate 2016
The Bond 2016
Some thoughts about Embryo 2016
The Rookie 2015
Bootflower 2015
Meditations on the continuum of vitality 2014
Six observations about The Skywhale 2013
The Fitzroy Series 2011
The Lovers 2011
The Welcome Guest 2011
Eulogy 2011
Aloft 2010
The Observer 2010
Balasana 2009
The Gathering 2009
Perhaps the World is Fine Tonight 2009
Bottom Feeder 2009
Not Quite Animal 2008
The Foundling 2008
The Long Awaited 2008
Big Mother 2005
Bodyguard 2004
Sandman 2003
The Leather Landscape 2003
The Young Family 2002
Still Life With Stem Cells 2002
Swell 2000
Truck Babies 1999
The Breathing Room 1999
Some thoughts about my practice

by Patricia Piccinini (2020)


I am interested in relationships: the relationship between the artificial and the natural, between humans and the environment. The relationships between beings, within families and between strangers. And the relationship between the audience and the artwork.

My work is never about one thing alone, it is always about a family or an ecosystem. Even when a creature is alone there is a relationship with the viewer.

Over the years, I have built up a sort of alternative world that exists just beyond the real world we live in. It is strange but familiar at the same time. It exists as moments, objects and images the overlap with the real world in gallery space. For this exhibition I wanted to bring this entire world to life.

This is a world where things mix and intermingle, where nothing stays in it's place. It is a world where animal, plant, machine and human unite and commingle. We have to ask ourselves, if it is so hard to figure out where one thing starts and another ends, can we really continue to believe in the barriers that separate us.

In a world where the cultural and the natural - the technological and organic - are ever more intermingled, this wilderness is my symbolic representation of a place where technology has become so natural that it takes on a life of it's own.

Connection

Obviously there are many kinds of relationships: impersonal relationships, business relationships, intimate relationships, conceptual relationships, difficult relationships, supportive relationships. My work spans a lot of these. Relationships are coloured by the emotional qualities that you bring to them. A relationship based on jealously or anxiety will have a very different flavour from one built on curiosity or care. I am especially interested in relationships built around empathy.

Empathy

Connection and empathy are at the heart of my practice, and at the heart of this exhibition. Many of the works are beings of one sort or another; creatures. The word creature comes from middle english and means literally ‘something created’. My creatures are just that, imaginary beings that are almost possible. They are not always traditionally beautiful, but they always have a beauty and an honesty within them. They are more vulnerable than threatening. People sometimes find their strangeness off-putting at first, but they usually learn to see past this. The creatures literally appeal to the audience’s empathy, they entreat the viewer to look beyond their strangeness and see the connections.

Unnamed emotions

Research has shown that emotions are learned. They are cultural as well as personal. There are some emotions that we don't have name for, or that only exist in other languages. I am particularly interested in a feeling that we don't seem to have a word for in English. I would describe it as the realisation of a feeling of warmth towards something that you were previously disturbed by. It is a sort of anti-xenophobia, and it is interesting to me that we have a word for xenophobia but not for this. 'Xenophilia' is something different, it is a love of this exotic. This is more about realising that the 'xeno' is not actually so strange.

If I want the viewers to get anything from my work it is this experience of a journey from disturbance to warmth.

Diversity

It is no coincidence that the majority of my sculptures have the same hair and eye colour as I do. Skin colour and features are deeply meaningful and political and I am very uncomfortable with the implications of speaking for the experience of someone different from me. There are many wonderful artists of colour and I feel that it is not my place to attempt to represent them, their bodies or experiences. Also, in a practice that often mixes human and animal features I have to be very wary of the history of racist representations that use such tropes, as well as 'blackface'. I feel ok mixing my own features with those of animals, but I do not presume that I can do that with somebody else's features. It is sad for me is this leads to a reduced diversity in the work, because I honestly hope to reach out to everybody, but some sort of fake or token inclusivity is worse I think. I would love to include more divestitures in my work but it needs to be genuinely understood, and I would need an invitation.

Storytelling

I am interested in telling stories about the world we live in. That is one of the reasons I'm interested in science. Because science is the dominant language used to explain the world to us. In the past it was religion or myth, but now it is science that explains how the world works and also becomes the expression for how we want the world to be, or how we fear it might end up. At the very edge of science we end up talking about how the world might be, and that is wonderful place for an artist to explore.

Surrealism

In terms of art history, I am drawn to Surrealism and nineteen century social realism. For me, both of these movements are attempts to represent social reality at a time of dramatic change. The surrealists engaged with the cutting edge technologies of photography and psychoanalysis in a way that wen't beyond reproducing the objective appearance of reality and tried to get to its subjective core. It love the humour, emotion and strangeness in the work.

Wonder

For me art is about taking you somewhere new or showing you the world you know but in way you might not have imagined. Certainly I want the viewer to think, but I don't think they can think without feeling. I am interested in creating an experience that has a number of levels, where wonder and amazement lead to thought and insight.

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