Patricia Piccinni’s fantastic body of work

patricia piccinini vespa sculpturepatricia piccinini sculpture

And I thought Ron Mueck’s sculptures were amazing…

And fair enough, they are. But Patricia Piccinni’s work, on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, blew my socks off. Not only are her sculptures incredibly life-like, right down to the dimples, the hairs in the moles, the subtle blue veins under the skin, but they take us into the future. Strange critters imbued with incredible personality inhabit this vision, a vision largely made in a human laboratory. Cloning and gene splicing are among the issues that Piccinni’s sculptures examine, and most carry more than a hint of melancholy. A purposely spliced pig-like creature carries a litter destined to be spare parts; another creature is made as a breeding ground for hairy-nosed wombats. A young girl plays with over-sized stem cells as though they were blobs of plasticene. Two boys play with a hand-held game machine, but they wear the faces of old men.

Also in the exhibit are some cool trucks and even cooler mopeds given animalistic life, photography and audio-visual displays.

But it was the incredible emotion that Piccinni fostered in her fabulous future creatures that elevated this exhibition into the truly remarkable.

Will we — can we — still love our creations tomorrow?

  • Lisa Hannett also saw the exhibit and describes it with far more eloquence here.
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