The Global Team have been involved in some very cool projects in the past and this one is no exception. Our tender to fly the 'Skywhale' created by world renowned sculptor and visual artist, Patricia Piccinini, who grew up in Canberra, was approved twelve months ago and it was a big secret to keep. Ms Piccinini was commissioned to design an artwork that will be delivered as a hot air balloon for Centenary of Canberra which will be launched today at the Australian National Gallery at 8.30am.
In the last 24 hours there has been some debate to the relevance and cost associated with the flying object and like any form of art it is open to interpretation in many different ways.
Global Ballooning Australia Director Kiff Saunders has volunteered much of his time and expertise to this project working very closely with Patricia Piccinini, Centenary of Canberra organisers as well as the team at Blue Boat Designs to bring this exciting project to life.
Below is Kiffs response to comments coming from Canberra residents, and all forms of media outlets particularly Canberra Times:
"This project is truly amazing and I am keen to counter the knee jerk reaction of the generally uninformed about the significance of this project.
Patricia Piccinini is recognised internationally for her thought provoking work that confronts our perception of beauty in relation to evolution. This translates back through to our own appreciation of physical, intellectual and cultural differences. It is a wonderful conversation regardless of ones thoughts on the Sky Whale itself.
I find it interesting to read the public reaction to this thought provoking piece of public art. Patricia Piccinini is renown throughout the world for her deeply considered sculptures confronting evolution and perception of beauty. Her view deconstructs our comfortable view of beauty - Her view is that a simple twist of evolutionary fate could have transformed us to all look and behave differently - and yet in todays society we place so much value on external image. It is ironic that the public reaction to this project is just that - Look at it for 5 minutes form a opinion 'It is ugly - therefore it must be bad. This socially ignorant attitude reflects social values in regards to physical, intellectual and cultural tolerance. Like it or not - take the time to know what the project stands for, the depth of Patricia's twenty year journey and also the tremendous amount of thought and dialogue that has gone into the creation of this work. This is about the Centenary of Canberra - it is an Australia wide celebration and this project will continue into the future representing the cultural diversity of our nations capital.
When Benjamin Franklin stood in Paris on the 1 December 1783 to watch with over 400000 people the launch of Jacque Charles Hydrogen balloon - a dignitary was reported to have asked him what use would this useless contraption be to society - the answer attributed to him was
"what use is a new born child".
I applaud the Centenary of Canberra for not just throwing another $200K worth of fireworks in the sky - just to please the locals - this will create a conversation for many many years.
We would love your support by voting for the Skywhale in the Canberra Times article below: