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Skywhales Every Heart Sings and Patricia Piccinini: Skywhales Exhibition

Home > Canberra > Art | Cultural Events | Exhibitions | Outdoor
by Heidi Cee (subscribe)
Explore the food, sights and events of Canberra and the surrounding regions with me. To see what I've been up to, I'm on Instagram @heids_c
Event: -
See the Skywhales soar
There's something unique to the Canberra psyche that makes the idea of wrenching yourself from sleep at 4:30am on a crisp cool morning to see a pair of balloon whales inflate seem both normal and fun.

Skywhale, Skywhale balloons, canberra events, canberra art, canberra exhibitions, things to do in Canberra, hot air balloons canberra
Skywhale and Skywhale Papa


The original Skywhale was commissioned as part of Canberra's 100th birthday celebrations and it's fair to say she started life as a social pariah. Dubbed the 'hinden-boob', a reference to the many-mammaried appearance of the balloon, she sparked fierce debate and division wherever she flew. In time, she managed to win over her fellow Canberrans and she's taken on a kind of cult-hero status so when her friend Skywhale Papa was created, he was welcomed with open arms.

As part of the National Gallery of Australia's Every Heart Sings exhibition, the pair were scheduled to take flight together for the first time in February but a fierce easterly wind meant they could only manage a short tethered flight. It didn't dampen the spirits though with the early morning crowd bopping away to the pre-dawn beats of Pheno's 'We are Skywhales', munching skywhale inspired croissants and even picking up some Skywhale merch from a pop up shop at the National Gallery.

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Skywhale by Patricia Piccinini


If you missed this unusual spectacle, fear not: the Skywhale pair and their children will fly over Canberra twice more on 8 March as part of the Canberra Balloon Spectacular and again on 3 April before heading off on a national tour. The pre-flight inflation and launch are ticketed - tickets are free and you can find out more here. The Patricia Piccinini: Skywhales exhibition continues at the Tim Fairfax Learning Gallery at the National Gallery until 1 August 2021 - entry is free.

National Gallery of Australia, Skywhales, Patricia Piccinini exhibition, art exhibitions Canberra, things to do in Canberra
Skywhales are on show at the National Gallery
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Why? To see art takeflight
When: 7 March 20 - 1 August 21 with flights on 8 March and 3 August
Where: Parkes Pl E, Parkes ACT 2600
Cost: free
Your Comment
Looks like the ridiculously early morning start was worth it !
by Portions (score: 1|34) 115 days ago
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