Curious hybrid stars in new exhibition

Published: 22 Sep 2020

The creation of a human-pig hybrid embryo and other bio-technical advancements helped to influence thought-provoking and somewhat unsettling artworks going on show in Artspace Mackay from Friday (September 25).

One of those works, “Teenage Metamorphosis” is a mind-bending human-non-human hybrid lying with a radio and a copy of Kafka’s Metamorphosis by his head.

Made from silicone, fiberglass, human hair and found objects, the artwork is hauntingly lifelike and emotive.

Teenage Metamorphosis is just one of the “curious” works in artist Patricia Piccinini’s Curious Affection On Tour exhibition which will be on show in the FIELD Engineers Gallery until November 29.

The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is currently touring the exhibition of works by the leading Australian contemporary artist.

In fact, Piccinini has been called “the most popular contemporary artist in the world” after one of her shows in Rio de Janeiro attracted over 444,000 visitors.

Curatorial manager of Australian Art, QAGOMA, and curator of Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection On Tour Peter McKay said Piccinini was one of the most exciting and challenging Australian artists working today.

“Following the success of her major solo exhibition ‘Curious Affection’ at GOMA in 2018, we are thrilled to be taking a selection of sculpture, photography and video works to our intrastate audiences,” Mr McKay said.

“Influenced by science, nature, fiction and the unconscious, Patricia’s ongoing concern is the social impact and moral responsibility of advanced technology on people, animals and our planet,” he said.

“Her fantastical creatures and environments are, in a way, propositions about possible futures.”

McKay said the works engaged audiences on an emotional level.

“The social conditions that surround Piccinini’s creatures elicit an empathetic response, while their physical appearance challenges conventional notions of beauty,” he said.

Mayor Greg Williamson said having the major exhibition in our region presented some tremendous opportunities for educators.

“For teachers there is an option of two free talks, on September 24 and 25, to help link ideas from the exhibition into classroom teachings,” Mayor Williamson said.

“Teachers can also download primary and secondary level educational resources from,” he said.

“There is also a free public talk for Curious Affection by QAGOMA staff at 10.30am Saturday, September 26.”

Book into any of the public floor talks or educational sessions for teachers here.

Also opening at Artspace Mackay, in the Foyer Gallery, on September 25, is Finding the Funny: Judy Horacek, a satirical, sarcastic, funny and thought-provoking series or illustrations and comics.

Extended hours

To coincide with the MECC’s September Weekender burlesque show Club Briefs, Artspace will remain open until late on Saturday, September 26, foregoing the usual closing time of 3pm.  This will allow visitors to see Curious Affection up until 6.30pm before attending the MECC show.