Biography: Patricia Piccinini
Since completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1991,
Patricia Piccinini's practice has flourished and she has become known as one of Australia's
leading contemporary artists. In an early interview Piccinini vividly recalled a simultaneous
revulsion and fascination at the time of her first foray into pseudo-eugenics when she created
a lump-like creature from raw pigskin. While the impetus to experiment with the creation of
synthetic life forms remains, since then Piccinini's techniques have evolved and she is now
recognised as a forerunner among artists working with contemporary media.
Piccinini has an ambivalent attitude towards technology and she uses her artistic practice as
a forum for discussion about how technology impacts upon life. She is keenly interested in
how contemporary ideas of nature, the natural and the artificial are changing our society.
Specific works have addressed concerns about biotechnology, such as gene therapy and
ongoing research to map the human genome. Piccinini often creates acutely aesthetic and
appealing works as a means of discussing complex ethical issues; she is also fascinated by
the mechanisms of consumer culture.
Piccinini has embraced a wide array of materials in her work. These include still, computer generated
images, interactive CD-ROMs, immersive video and sculptural installations, and
most recently, film. In the last five years Piccinini has had solo exhibitions in Australia, Japan,
Peru and the Philippines. At the same time she has participated in group shows in Germany,
Spain, the Netherlands, France, Wales, Korea and New Zealand. In recent years Piccinini has
had work included in the biennials of Sydney and Liverpool (2002), Berlin (2001) and Kwangju
(2000). In 2003 her work will represent Australia at the Fiftieth Venice Biennale.
For more information about Patricia Piccinini, visit the artist's website.