by Laura Hutson
Australian artist Patricia Piccinini's "The Long Awaited" was the centerpiece of last year's Fairytales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination at The Frist, and Nashvillians everywhere fell for the artist's Fraggle Rock-meets-Carl Sagan vision. Her latest project, "The Skywhale," will surely make converts out of the rest of the world. Put simply, it's a hot-air balloon that was commissioned by the Australian government as part of the Centenary of Canberra, their capital's centennial celebration. But take one look at the piece and you'll see that it's so much more.
A series of videos documenting Piccinini's process and the creature's first flight are below. Watch all three, then help me figure out how to convince the artist to come back to Nashville and let us take a ride.