Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale family set to take flight over Melbourne

MPavilion PapaWhaleAs the sun begins to rise in the early hours of Saturday 19 March, MPavilion will play host to Skywhales: Every Heart Sings, the much-anticipated inaugural Melbourne flight of Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale hot-air balloon family.

In a special event celebrating the first hometown journey of her awe-inspiring creatures, art lovers and sky gazers are invited to set alarm clocks for 5.00am and join the globally lauded Melbourne-based artist at Yarra Bend’s Corban Oval to witness the monumental sculptures, Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, prepare for lift-off.

From there, they will soar into Melbourne’s skies and over the heart of the city promising a singularly spectacular display visible from the CBD to the outer metropolitan reaches.

Every Heart Sings is a project that talks about nature, family, evolution, care and wonder. They float into our lives to make us smile and think,” said Piccinini, who sees her hot-air balloon Skywhales not just as sculptures but as an opportunity for connection through a shared moment of something truly extraordinary.

Following their debut flight in Canberra in 2020, the sculptures come to Melbourne as part of the National Gallery Touring Event, thanks to the principal patronage of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

Skywhale-watchers are encouraged to rug-up or, even dress up in Skywhale-themed costumes, bring a camping chair and picnic blanket and witness the sculptures being inflated and lift-off into the air. Coffee carts will be onsite to provide visitors with their much-needed early morning caffeine fix.

“I am a great admirer and passionate supporter of Patricia and her extraordinary work,” said Naomi Milgrom AC, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation.

“We are thrilled to have enabled these important public artworks, which represent sustainability, nurture, community, and imagination, by making them accessible to all as they journey across our skies.”

Skywhale: Every Heart Sings takes place at Corban Oval, Yarra Bend on Saturday 19 March from 6.00am. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhalepapa (supplied)