the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini
the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini
may 16, 2013

the skywhale hot air balloon by patricia piccinini

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



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



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



‘the first flight’video courtesy the skywhale



the skywhale over mt. arapiles, australia



interior of the skywhale during inflation



  • wahhhh… perfectly amazing..

    kia says:
  • love the idea of a giant whale foating around in the air

    but what’s with the boobs?

    dbkii says:
  • the great flying GODDESS of the sky
    love it
    well done

    Paedra says:
  • Wonderful… a great use of hot air in Canberra …which has way too much!!!

    I hope this tours Australia and the politicians don’t! 😉

    bilbaggins says:
  • This fail is a blatant rip off from the Sky Whale of the National Geographic documentary Alien Planet.

    According to concept art, the sacs on the back of the Sky Whale’s head are vocal organs located above the animal’s lungs. They inflate slightly as slits behind them open which then emits a sound. Additionally, they depend on echolocation and acute hearing to detect their surroundings as they are blind. The bone structure of their wings have a hexagonal structure which provides great durability.

    Aurelia and Blue Moon are based on computer models created by NASA and SETI Project researchers to help identify which stars among the universe’s 70 sextillion are most likely to support life.:To make the worlds as realistic as possible, SETI astrophysicist Laurance Doyle and NASA researcher Manoj Joshi ran detailed climate simulations on a desktop Linux box. The sims allowed the scientists to observe the consequences on habitability of a range of complex atmospheric variables like thermal circulation and precipitation levels. Next, a group of life scientists, led by University of Cambridge paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris, applied the principles of natural selection and adaptation to populate the planets. They determined creature leg lengths and wingspans using biomechanics algorithms, and they established vegetation height and characteristics according to factors like available light and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    therealstuff says:
  • I don’t get the dreadlocks at the side of the floating whale. Those look like nipples from the bottom.

    Alexander K says:
  • You must first see her previous works to understand this.

    You might find it a bit irritating though.

    Turgut says:

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