This month, if you look out the window, don’t be alarmed if you see a family of majestic Skywhale hot air balloons. These monumental sculptures, Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, are soon making their appearance in Melbourne’s skies. The Skywhale family were created by artist Patricia Piccinini, who is currently holding an exhibition inside Flinders Street Ballroom. Following flight events in Canberra, Adelaide and Albury, these Skywhale balloons will soar across the sky in the early hours of Saturday March 19.
Skywhale Hot Air Balloons
Watch in amazement as these mammalian creatures drift through the air. Wake up bright and early (5am early!) and head to Corban Oval in Yarra Bend to witness their flight. From there, Skywhale and Skywhalepapa will fly over the heart of the city. They will be visible from the CBD all the way to the outer metropolitan areas.
As this will take place in the early morning, Skywhale-watchers are encouraged to dress warmly. Skywhale-themed costumes are definitely welcome! Bring a camping chair or picnic blanket if you’d like to sit comfortably, and watch the sculptures get inflated and lift-off into the air. There will be coffee available on-site to help you perk up.
These two balloons are coming to Melbourne as part of a National Gallery touring event, after their debut flight in Canberra in 2020.
Skywhale was inspired by nature, while Skywhalepapa was inspired by nurture. On Skywhalepapa, you’ll discover nine babies nestling under its fins. These surreal sculptures are over 30 metres high, and their stories are told in Piccinini’s children’s book, “Every Heart Sings”.
“Every Heart Sings is a project that talks about nature, family, evolution, care and wonder,” said Piccinini. “They float into our lives to make us smile and think.” These floating creatures are an opportunity for people to connect through a shared moment, in which they witness something truly awe-inspiring.
This event will run from 5am to 9am. You will need to register your interest before you go.
Skywhale at MPavilion
The launch of the Skywhale balloons will be a part of MPavilion, encapsulating their March theme of “Design As A Human Right”.
Before the Saturday flight, head over to MPavilion on Thursday March 10. Listen to Piccinini as she reads her children’s book, “Every Heart Sings”. After that, she will be joined by wildlife scientist and marine mammal expert Dr Vanessa Pirotta. Together, they will discuss all things whales, and how they became the inspiration for Piccinini’s Skywhales. Meanwhile, knitters can also download a Skywhale Mama knitting pattern, so they can create their own little toy.
This event will run from 5:15pm to 7pm on Thursday March 10.
For more information about the different Skywhale events, click here.