‘the skywhale’ hot-air balloon by patricia piccininiall images courtesy patricia piccinini

 

 

commissioned for the centenary of canberra, ‘the sky whale’ hot-air balloon by sierra leonean artist patricia piccinini will be flying at other locations around australia during 2013. in the place of wings, piccinini imagined huge udders that might contain the gas of the giant flying sculpture, as well as a huge bulbous body. before commencing production, a three-dimension model was developed from a series drawings using a cad program. the prototype of the ‘skywhale’ was then sent to cameron balloons in bristol, where the colouring and patination of the creature was resolved in more detail. transferred the colours, patterns and textures of the design were then later transferred onto 3,535 metres of fabric – sewn together with approximately 3.3 million stitches.

 

‘the skywhale may appear fantastic but think about the blue whale – an air breathing mammal that lives in the ocean – and it doesn’t seem so far-fetched,’ says piccinini. ‘I think that when we look up at the skywhale and wonder what it is ‘for’, it might remind us that nature is not necessarily ‘for us’. it just ‘is’ and we’re just lucky enough to be around to see it.’

 

 

the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini

‘the sky whale’ hot-air balloon is commissioned for the centenary of canberra

 

 

the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini

the giant flying sculpture was sewn together with approximately 3.3 million stitches

 

 

the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini

the skywhale will be flying at other locations around australia during 2013

 

 

‘the first flight’video courtesy the skywhale

 

 

the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini

the skywhale over mt. arapiles, australia

 

 

the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini

interior of the skywhale during inflation