One of my favorite things to see is the Carnival of Flowers in Toowoomba, one of the loveliest regions in Queensland.
The town is full of antique stores and great traditional architecture, and, as a point of difference to the quaint charm, it has a great contemporary art exhibition, suitable for all the family, especially kids, who will love suspending their disbelief.
Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection is a Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art touring exhibition of works by this internationally famous, leading Australian artist at Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery until February 27.
It’s a smaller iteration of the 2018 blockbuster show she had at GOMA and features a selection of sculpture, photography, and video works.
It’s hard to explain Piccinini’s practice in a nutshell – hers is a world filled by fantastical creatures that blend human, animal and mechanical elements, and are so real, they need to be seen to be believed.
The artist asks us to consider our place in a world where biotechnology and digital technology advances have complicated the definitions between the human, natural and artificial worlds.
We are familiar with augmented reality and artificial intelligence, but we don’t always think about what it means for humanity.
Piccinini takes inspiration from science, nature, and Surrealism. At first glance, her creatures can seem terrifying, but the more time you spend with them, the more you will see their benevolent gentleness.
“The works engage you on an emotional level,” says exhibition curator Peter McKay.
“The social conditions that surround Piccinini’s creatures elicit an empathetic response, while their physical appearance challenges conventional notions of beauty.”
You will be astonished by the level of skill alone – Piccinini is one of the nation’s great artists.
If you’re in Melbourne, you can see Piccinini’s work in the exhibition A Miracle Constantly Repeated at Flinders Street Station – in the old, disused ballroom above the station to be exact – until June. See rising.melbourne
The National Gallery of Australia in Canberra commissioned Piccinini to make Skywhalepapa, a monumental sculpture in the form of a hot-air balloon – a companion to Skywhale. Following three flight events in Canberra, the sculptures will tour the skies of regional Australia (including Tamworth, NSW; Hamilton and Ballarat, Vic; and Cairns, Qld) as a National Gallery touring event throughout 2022. See knowmyname.nga.gov.au for all the dates.
This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com