Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965 in Sierra Leone) is an Australian artist known for her anthropomorphic sculptures that explore the relationship between the artificial and the natural, humans and their environment, and the viewer and the artwork – Piccinini’s hybrid creatures only exist in relation to the audience who bring their own emotions and feelings to the exchange.
Piccinini works in a variety of media – painting, video, sound, installation, digital printing – creating encaptivating worlds in which fantasy and reality, the imaginary and the real, human and machine come together rendering it difficult to distinguish where one thing starts and another ends.
At the heart of Piccinini’s practice are themes of fecundity – the potential of life – empathy, connection and wonder; the characters Piccinini creates are not conventionally beautiful yet have an endearing quality about them, that evoke in the viewer the desire to care and nurture, and to see beyond their physical qualities. There is also gentle humour in Piccinini’s work that appeals to audiences of all ages.
Piccinini’s exhibition at Kunsthalle Helsinki consists of environments created specifically for the space including an immersive installation Alone With The Gods, a new two channel video work and a group of four major sculptures that together present an entire lifecycle from birth, through childhood to adulthood and old age.