by Ariadna Zierold
Patricia Piccinini is one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists who works in a variety of media, including painting, video, sound, installation, digital prints, and sculpture.
Her startling sculptures examine the connections between science and nature, art and the environment. Audiences are drawn to Piccinini’s sculptures because they appear so real, yet they are creatures of the artist’s imagination developed to consider a strange new world of artificial or mutant beings derived from experimental biotechnology.
Created using a combination of materials such as silicone, fibreglass and human hair, Piccinini’s sculptures are familiar yet fantastical in their depiction of possible future species and their interaction with human beings. Often confronting yet endearingly vulnerable, her sculptures give form to her fascination with the relationship between the ‘natural’ and the ‘artificial’ while asserting the power of social relationships, love and communication. Piccinini’s work is fundamentally about the human condition, despite the quasi-human appearance of her sculptures. The artist sees them as ‘beautiful rather than grotesque, miraculous rather than freakish’.