Inside Patricia Piccinini’s Epic New Exhibition At Flinders Avenue Ballroom

The previous few years has seen one in all Australia’s most well-known artists, Patricia Piccinini, launch her epic balloon art work Skywhalepapa into the Canberra skies, and oversee a solo present that’s been touring Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Austria.

However the factor that’s actually stored her busy over the previous twelve months is a fee for RISING, Melbourne’s new arts and tradition competition. A Miracle Always Repeated occupies eleven rooms of the disused and dilapidated Flinders Avenue Ballroom. Every is its personal discrete panorama: legendary beasts in a Dandenongs-like mountainscape, a celestial area populated with 4,000 white ‘vegetation’, or a forest inhabited by giant, scaly rodents.

Some rooms are dioramas utterly reworked with sound, video and light-weight, and a few comprise only a single sculpture alone within the sweeping house. Patricia has been engaged on many of the set up because the starting of final 12 months, and a few since 2015.

Now, it’s lastly right here.

Hey Patricia! This new exhibition is such an thrilling idea. Describe it to me.

To be sincere, I’m by no means actually positive what number of works I’ve in a present, however there are 11 rooms, every with a reasonably substantial set up that includes a number of works. Some rooms simply have a single work, which others have half a dozen. I’ve made a brand new single channel video work, ‘We stroll collectively’, that includes [actor] Jillian Nguyen that appears at concepts of resilience and inter-species connection, for instance.

Plenty of the rooms might be acquainted to individuals who know my work, though at all times with new components, however the Ballroom is an actual departure for me. I felt that it demanded a really site-specific response. The work accommodates a variety of new glass items that I developed as a part of a residency at Canberra Glassworks earlier this 12 months, together with some neon components that I’m very enthusiastic about. It contains this very guitar and drums-heavy soundscape by Jess Inexperienced and Bob Scott that makes it very a lot the occasion on the finish of the exhibition.

What is important concerning the Flinders Avenue Ballroom as an exhibition house?

The realm above Flinders Avenue Station is that this legendary house that many have heard about however few haver truly visited. The areas run off this massively lengthy hall that stretches the complete size of the platform, transitioning from workplace areas to rooms that had been as soon as a library or the billiard room or gymnasium and finally the ballroom.

The house has been unused because the mid Nineteen Eighties, and was in fairly tough form after we moved in. However this roughness is admittedly fairly lovely, and the partitions are scarred with the historical past of the place, with graffiti and outdated signage. The ballroom itself has solely simply been rescued from the outcomes of years of overflowing gutters, nevertheless it has these great proportions and particulars which can be actually particular.

RISING describes the exhibition as an ‘ecosystem’ of your work. What does that imply?

I suppose every of the rooms is a panorama, with wildlife and sometimes fungi. I attempt to create these areas the place there’s a sure inner logic, the place issues appear to suit collectively even when they’re hybrid or imagined.

For instance,’Celestial Discipline’ is a panorama of 4 thousand pure white hybrid vegetation that grown from the ground and grasp from the ceiling, creating this compressed surroundings occupied by very modern, animal-like sculptures locked in an ambiguous embrace. Neither of those components are very pure, but they appear to suit naturally collectively.

What’s behind the identify ‘A Miracle Always Repeated’?

The title comes from a quote by Lyman Abbot, who was a nineteen century liberal theologian occupied with reconciling science and spirituality. I like the way in which it captures the on a regular basis marvellousness of nature, the way in which that each dawn is that this occasion that’s each extraordinary and the very definition of abnormal.

I hope that the present highlights simply how fortunate we’re to be dwelling on this world of miracles.

‘A Miracle Always Repeated’ might be on throughout RISING, from Might twenty sixth and June sixth. The exhibition has been prolonged past the competition, and might be open from June seventh – August thirty first. E book a ticket right here!

Be taught extra concerning the RISING program right here, and Patricia’s work right here.

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