Patricia Piccinini describes her practice as ‘focused on bodies and relationships: relationships between people and other creatures, between people and bodies, between the artificial and the natural, between creatures and the environment.’
This question of our place in the environment is key to this exhibition, as well as our relationship to - and our responsibilities towards - the other creatures we share it with. Piccinini wonders what happens to us if we recognise that we are just one animal among many, and that our fate and theirs are tied together.
Piccinini’s work is drawn from the real world but they are often not anything that we recognise. Their strangeness challenges our acceptance of the different. They are hybrids drawn from the animal world and beyond, but somehow, we can see ourselves in them.
This exhibition brings together works from the last twenty years of Piccinini’s practice, as well as a new group of works inspired by the unique environment of Far North Queensland. These works celebrate the wondrous ecology of the area, but also wonders at how we can cope with the overwhelming challenges facing it.
Perhaps because she is drawn to advances in genetics and the natural world, many people have looked at her practice in terms of science and technology. However, it is just as informed by Surrealism and mythology. What interests Piccinini is creating stories that reflect what it’s like to be alive today. She is drawn to the complexity that arises when the rational, the emotional and the ethical collide.
Filmed by Dr Russell Milledge MFA PhD
From 17 December 2021, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the Gallery.
The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Gimuy Walubarra Yidinji and Yirrganydji as the Traditional Owners of the area today known as Cairns. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.