The Lure of the Fantastical and the Unknown

Words by Lisa Gwen, in conversation with the artist.
Visuals courtesy of the artist.

Patricia Piccinini

Looking through Patricia Piccinini’s portfolio, is like stepping into wonderland; “curiouser and curiouser”, as Lewis Carroll famously wrote. Here, however, one won’t find any Mad Hatters, March Hares, hookah-smoking caterpillars perched on mushrooms, or White Rabbits donning a pocket-watch.

This is a different kind of wonderland. One, which is strangely, yet decidedly, alluring.

 

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“Art is a communicative system […] using aesthetics instead of words to speak … What attracts us to look at a piece of art is the aesthetics, and aesthetics is attraction for attention.”

(Dahlia Zaidel, expert in the neuropsychology of art at the University of California, Los Angeles)

“I guess I want to start a conversation with the viewer. There are all these interesting ideas in the world, all these incredibly pressing problems, all these amazing possibilities. As an artist, I don’t have much control over how things work in the world, what governments and big companies do. However, I can be involved in helping people to see these issues and find other ways to think about them. I’m certainly not trying to scare people, but I would like to inspire them to think and act.”

Piccinini’s work is often viewed as a running commentary on genetic manipulation, and biotechnological experimentation, together with the controversial ethical considerations that surround these issues and scientific advances. But to what extent?

Read the full article in our magazine – The Ecstasy Issue

Patricia Piccinini

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