The Australian Patricia Piccinini (b. 1965 Sierra Leone) is known for her human-like, anthropomorphic sculptures. Her intriguing works combine fantasy with reality, the imagined with the real, and human with machine, making it impossible to distinguish where one ends and the other begins.
The over 30 works in the exhibition Between the Shadow and the Soul form an intensive collection where the viewer encounters many kinds of lifeforms, surprising characters and stories where fact and fiction, science and mythology meet. The exhibition is curated by Anna Mustonen.
Patricia Piccinini reminds us that we hold a responsibility for what we create. Unusual, peculiar, hybrid-like creatures in between human and animal trigger emotional reactions and remind us, regardless of their strange appearances, of our own environments, children and elders – and ourselves. The works are about warmth, love and the possibility of renewal. They transmit also a sense of hope for care, nurture and community to their viewer. Piccinini’s works also contain humour that resonates in audiences of all ages.
The exhibition held at Kunsthalle Helsinki includes works made of silicone, sculptures and video works, as well as a collaborative work by Patricia Piccinini and Peter Hennessey, Alone with the Gods, an installation based on a story written by the artists about an imaginary secluded cult. The narrator is the last remaining sect member whose story read by actor Pekka Strang, can be heard in Finnish and Swedish also on the Kunsthalle website here.
Patricia Piccinini, Sapling, 2020