A Swine Young Family

“The Young Family” (silicone, acrylic, human hair, leather and timber) by Patricia Piccinini. (Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria.)

“The Young Family” features an aged, sow-like mother laying on her side with a litter of suckling pups; as an archetypal maternal scene. Her expression is world-weary and sympathetic. The eyes and skin of the mother seem very human, but she has a hairy back and hands of a primate; while her snout, long floppy ears and tail stub seem almost porcine. she has  a human demenour and maternal generosity – Piccinini calls her ‘beautiful’ saying she is not threatening, but a face you could love and a face in love with her family.

About the Artist: Patricia Piccinini (born in Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1965) arrived in Australia in 1972. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1991. In 2014, she received the Artist Award from the Melbourne Art Foundation’s Awards for  Visual Arts.

  • Piccinini is one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists whose digital photographs, 3D forms and video installations creatively explore what is real or imaginary in this age of digital enhancement and scientific genetic engineering.
  • Her works question nature and possible outcomes in experimental biotechnology and its potential impact on society.  The art forms present hybrid, almost mythological creatures; which are often grotesque and uncanny in appearance.
  • Despite their strangeness and artificiality they are convincingly real and imbued with a touching ‘human’ vulnerability that elicits direct empathy from the observer.

Her most recent exhibition ‘Curious Affection‘ was held at the Gallery of Modern Art Queensland (24 March 1918 – 5 August 2018).

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