A field of more than 3000 specially created flower sculptures (illustrated) is among a range of immersive must-see artworks premiering in the major solo exhibition ‘Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection’ now open at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). Patricia Piccinini is one of the most exciting and challenging contemporary Australian artists working today and ‘Curious Affection’, presented exclusively at GOMA until 5 August 2018, is her most ambitious project to date.
Influenced by science, nature, fiction and the unconscious, Piccinini’s ongoing concern is the social and moral impact of advanced technology on people, animals and our planet. Her fantastical creatures and environments are, in a way, propositions about possible futures which engage us on an emotional level, as they challenge conventional notions of beauty, perfection and the ideal.
Through this exhibition of recent and major new work, enter Piccinini’s world, a place where the conventional boundaries between reality and artifice are unstable, and our intrigue and curiosity are pulled into the space between. The works invite you to look beyond the strangeness to make a connection.
‘Curious Affection’ is the first time a contemporary Australian artist had presented their work at GOMA on such a grand scale. The exhibition occupies the entire ground floor and features more than 70 sculptures, photographs, videos, drawings and a number of large-scale installations, including major new commissions.
Exhibition highlights include Pneutopia 2018 (illustrated), a voluminous inflatable suspended in GOMA’s atrium, Kindred 2018 (illustrated), an orangutan-like mother with two young children and The Couple 2018 (illustrated), a sculpture of a pair in a loving embrace inside an original 1980’s caravan. Piccinini describes the imaginary beings in ‘Curious Affection’ as ‘almost possible’ and while they are not always beautiful in the conventional sense, there is a compelling sincerity and dignity about them.
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Opening Weekend / saturday 24 march 10.00am – 5.00pm
Join the opening program which includes a keynote address by Piccinini, conversations focused on science and art and our changing understanding of nature and the species divide, and walking tours through the exhibition.
HEAR THE ARTIST: Patricia Piccinini
Children’s Art Centre
Patricia Piccinini’s free project ‘Curious Creatures’ encourages under eights to enter another world. The inviting burrow-like space is home to fantastical, mole-like creatures. Children can explore the nooks and tunnels of the space while interacting with the soft and tactile forms.
An Up Late program in conjunction with ‘Curious Affection’ will be presented across five Friday evenings from 8 June to 6 July 2018, with live music by local and international acts, bars and floor-talks. Singer-songwriter Amaya Laucirica (Melbourne) will launch the Piccinini Up Late series with her genre-defying sound and wistful melodies. Xylouris White (Melbourne), a musical collaboration between Greek singer and laouto player George Xylouris and Australian drummer Jim White of Dirty Three will then perform. Tickets now on sale.
The ‘Curious Affection’ film program at GOMA’s Australian Cinémathèque will showcase a wide range of science fiction and horror classics, together with beloved animations and documentaries from 6 April – 30 May 2018. The opening night features Boris Karloff in Frankenstein at 6.00pm followed by The Shape of Water at 7.45pm. Tickets now on sale.
The Shape of Water
Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection explores the artist’s exciting new commissions, as well as significant works produced over the last 20 years. New scholarship by Dr Elizabeth Finkel (Cosmos Magazine) and Professor Rosi Braidotti, a pioneer in European women’s studies, together with a curatorial overview by Peter McKay, Exhibition Curator and Curator, Australian Art, QAGOMA, explores the artist’s groundbreaking artworks and ideas. The volume also features ‘Familiar’, a short story by award-winning author China Miéville. This informative 200pp publication is filled with stunning installation photography of the artist’s GOMA exhibition. Pre-order your copy of Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection. A special Slipcase Limited Edition is also available.
The exhibition is supported by Principal Benefactor, the Neilson Foundation, and Major Partner, Tourism and Events Queensland.
Feature image detail: Installation view of ‘Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection’, GOMA 2018, featuring The Bond 2016, courtesy: The artist; Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne; Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney; and Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco within The Field 2018. © The artist