q&a with photos captured by allissa oughtred
5 August 2020

Patricia Piccinini is one of our favourite Australian artists. We were lucky enough to see her 20 year retrospective at GOMA in 2018 which blew our hearts and minds. To launch our new look site, we asked Patricia and her daughter Roxy to dress up in their favourite pieces from our latest collections. Allissa Oughtred snapped Patricia and Roxy skylarking and posing with a few of the artist’s new sculptures around her Melbourne studio. Patricia’s new works are a sneak peek, they are being boxed ready to send to Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney for her solo exhibition The Gardener’s Eye, opening 20th August.

Do you see art as a salve for these socially distant times? 

Absolutely. Even though I miss seeing things in real life, I find looking at what other people are doing out in the world both inspiring and reassuring. It reminds me that people are still out there doing and making and thinking things. To be honest, I think art should be classified as an ‘essential service’! Sadly it doesn’t seem like the government agrees.  At the moment, as we go deeper into lock-down, I am working on drawings for my new show, and I have to say that I find that really quite calming. I spend hours in front of a sheet of paper and it is almost meditative, and I also have this sense of having done something with my day. It’s incredibly positive for me.

Who would you like to reach with your latest exhibition?

I want to reach everyone! I really think that art is about communication and interaction. It is a three way conversation between me, the artwork and the viewer. That means that without a viewer something is missing, and it also means that the more people coming at it from different angles, the more interesting conversation it is. I try to make work that has many levels. I hope that pretty much anyone can look at it and find something interesting in it, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is. There are many ideas built into the works that need more time and information to uncover, so I hope there are rewards for the people who have those things also.

How are you feeling creatively at the moment?

Despite how weird things are right now, I am actually feeling surprisingly positive. I have a few projects coming up that have been pushed into the future by the pandemic, and that has opened up some time to try to think about new ideas and new works. I can’t say that I’ve gone as far as I would like with that, or even that I love the process of coming up with new ideas - I find it excruciatingly hard - but at least I'm putting the time in. I feel pretty lucky that I get to try and make art.

Have you and your daughter been approaching time differently these last few months?

I think that has been the one really good thing about this strange and horrible pandemic time. We have this time together and I really don’t want to waste it. I feel it is a very particular time with her, because she is growing up. We’ve actually been doing a lot of sewing, and other crafts and baking. It’s hard for her to resist the screen, and to a certain extent I can’t blame her because it is her only way to connect with her friends. But at the same time I think it's really important to make these hours count. It was a really special opportunity to go to the studio with Alli to shoot these photos for you guys. Your dresses are so beautiful and Alli has an amazing energy. We had a lot of

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