Patricia Piccinini at Roslyn Oxley9

Patricia Piccinini is currently showing a bunch of weird and wonderful things at the Roslyn Oxley9 gallery in Sydney. The show is called Related Individuals and closes on the 6th of December.

Patricia Piccinini at Roslyn Oxley
Patricia Piccinini
The Long Awaited, 2008
silicon, fibreglass, human hair, plywood, leather, clothing 152 × 80 × 92cm

Patricia Piccinini Transgenic Skull for the Bodyguard
Patricia Piccinini
Not Quite Animal II (Transgenic Skull for the Bodyguard), 2008
bronze 28 × 14.5 × 19.5cm

My guess is that at least half of all working artists in the world have created at least one skull this year! Every art magazine I pick up has at least one skull in it. Are we looking at our own mortality or is it just because of the Damien Hirst skull?

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. I blame Hell’s Angels and Charles Darwin for the plethora of skulls. If an artist hasn’t any talent to stir the viewers’ emotions, a skull – the universal symbol of death – is a cheap way of doing it.

    I take it you haven’t seen Damien Hirst’s latest skull in sterling silver. It went on show a week ago in London. I know your’re a fan. Take a look:

  2. Neither. Drawing a skull was a real challenge in class and I continue to enjoy drawing or painting it. Has nothing to do with Hell’s Angels, darwin, hirst or even trying to present a symbol of death (although with the two homage one’s it was).

    Does there have to be some great convoluted reason one enjoys an image and wants to paint it? Should one stop painting something because everyone else has done it. Personally I don’t give a rats arse what the rest of the world wants to paint, I like painting them now and again. IF it is perceived as a cheap way to get attention, then maybe I should have just covered a tree with knitted skulls instead ;)

  3. I am not quite sure what the attraction to skulls is for a particular artist, but for some it is a serious subject entrenched in many concerns and to others it is a trendy icon.

  4. I guess David for the same reason some artists are attracted to particular shapes or forms in nature in still life paintings, or portraiture, etc.

    It’s one heck of a long lasting trendy icon eh ? :)

  5. Well, skulls aside, I can assure you that not many artists are doing Patricia Piccinini’s image shown all over the world.

  6. Donald Frazell says:

    She is very good, but not at creative art, She ought to come to Hollywood, she is an excellent applied arts creator who would do great in the illusions of Hollywood, who can bring her figures to life. Skull looks like a cross between Darth Vader and Alien. Guarantee she would get a job, perhaps with the Lord of the Rings guy too.

  7. The skull as an art object and subject for painting has been around long before Hirst turned it into some kind of commercial icon. Georgia O’Keefe, Dali, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol and many other noted artists have painted skulls.

    Most people prefer paintings of flowers or landscapes, but some of us are drawn to paint the darker side of life.

    I painted some a few years back, not as a cheap thrill, but because I’m drawn to the skull’s symbolic power. Take a look:

  8. I missed the sterling Hirst skull Ian. I havent had much spare time lately, so I have missed a lot of things I guess.

    A tree covered in knitted skulls might be interesting Corrine ;-)

    I believe she works with a Sydney movie effects company to create them Donald.

  9. I’m going to have to look into the art of Piccinini. What is that critter (The Long Awaited)?

    As a youth I had a large collection of bones & skulls which I found aesthetically pleasing. I was also a bio major. Eventually donated them to a park for their eduation program. There is something engaging & attractive about them. Note this gallery exhibition:

    Dialogue with death


  10. Anonymous says:

    i have had a curiosity about skulls ever since I learned about the crystal skulls poping up all around the world. (even… indian jones) I’m just guessing but with the rising popularity of the Mayan calender lore and the 13 skull ancient prophesy, I think that those might just be infuencing today’s artists a tad. Or at least this artist.

  11. Anonymous says:

    where i first heard about crystal skulls

  12. Skulls are fashionable. Apparently so are artists.

  13. If there is one master piece that I often found in most of the exhibits or galleries that would be the skull, there is something in this that most of us, the artist wants to have our very own version.

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