Patricia Piccinini – In Another Life

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Media Release: February, 2006. 

Open your eyes and mind at City Gallery Wellington this Festival season with the challenging and provocative, yet humorous and touching work of Patricia Piccinini, one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists.

Patricia Piccinini – In Another Life will be City Gallery Wellington’s major contribution to the New Zealand International Arts Festival.

Piccinini is internationally recognised for the fresh and personal perspective she brings to some of the biggest issues humanity currently faces: the rapid environmental changes that humans are both causing and coping with, and the increasingly blurred boundaries between human, animal, and machine.

Piccinini is renowned for her hyper-real sculptural works and mesmerising photographic and moving image pieces. Her exhibition for City Gallery Wellington will bring together a selection of new and recent work.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is Piccinini’s new series of sculptures, Nature’s Little Helpers. In these works, Piccinini concocts a group of surrogate creatures to support and nurture endangered indigenous Australian animals and birds including a bodyguard (equipped with fangs and claws) to defend the territory and food supply of the Golden Helmeted Honeyeater and a surrogate breeder for the Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, that assists this slow-breeding animal by mass-producing infant wombats in pods that runs down either side of its spine.

Piccinini describes these works as being about the seductive idea that we can find simple short-term solutions for complex environmental problems: the kind of thinking, for example, that lead to the introduction of the cane toad to Australia to control pests that infested sugar cane crops: the cane toad in turn is now seen as an invasive species. It’s about the danger, as Piccinini says, of 'doing the right things for the wrong reasons'.

Also showing at City Gallery Wellington during the New Zealand International Arts Festival:

Michael Smither – The Wonder Years

19 February – 6 June 2006

A touring exhibition from the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki

Raewyn Atkinson – Designs on Antarctica

3 February – 12 March 2006, in the Michael Hirschfeld Gallery

Entry to all three exhibitions is free

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ARTIST BIOGRAPHY

Patricia Piccinini was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1965 and moved to Australia in 1975. Since completing a Bachelor of Arts (Painting) at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne in 1989 Piccinini has exhibited extensively both throguhout Australia and internationally, with exhibitions in New York, Liverpool, Germany, Tokyo, Lima, and Italy. Piccinini’s exhibition ‘We Are Family’ was the Australian contribution to the 2003 Venice Biennale: Piccinini was one of the youngest artists to ever represent Australia at this prestigious event.

Patricia Piccinini lives and works in Melbourne.