Patricia Piccinini; In Istanbul With “Hold Me Close To Your Heart”

Being unprejudiced…

ARTER is currently hosting an fairly interesting exhibition that makes you have contradictory feelings. We look at creatures that seem unlikable and turn into lovely, childish, friendly and protective shapes when looked closer. We will take you to another world with this exhibition…


Patricia Piccinini, The Long Awaited-2008
Curated by Başak Doğa Temür, the exhibition displays more than 20 pieces of Patricia Piccinini since 1997. You can see different kind of media together in the exhibition, such as sculpture, installation, texture and video.

Piccinini introduces us her uncommon family in”Hold Me Close To Your Heart” and brings the relationship of human with the nature and other livings into question. The artists uses silicon, fiberglass, polyurethane, leather, human hair and such materials to realize the her unique creature designs. This way the creatures look more realistic. It mostly takes 8-9 months to finish one of the works. Piccinini has a team to work together on details. Sculptor, painter, dyers…


Patricia Piccinini, Balasana, 2009

Silicone, fibreglass, human hair, clothing, antique rug, taxidermied swamp wallaby


Patricia Piccinini

Doubting Thomas, 2008

Silicon, fibreglass, human hair, clothing, chair

These unaccustomed creatures look unnatural, abnormal and even freaky. But they differ from others by them being calm, childish and friendly. They seem as if they have got out of children’s dreams. After an initial hesitation, they arouse an inevitable feeling of fondness, compassion and even protection. Piccinini makes up her sculptures without elaborating the violence, horribleness and freakiness. This is how the artist express her feelings. The works of Patricia Piccinini draw their strength from the tension created by the contradictory feelings aroused. With this surprising experience, the artist prompts us to reconsider the duality such as nature/culture, beauty/ugliness. She sometimes places endangered animal kinds in her works. Thus, she deals with discussions over technology, consumerism and the separation of human from the nature via an unique experience.

The exhibition which is set up to arouse curiosity is spread through the first three floors of ARTER. It’s a world that both resembles and differ completely from ours. Piccinini built different themes for each floor of ARTER.


Patricia Piccinini,”Hold Me Close to Your Heart”, 2011

Installation view:”The Lovers”, 2011;”The Observer”, 2010

Photo© Fethi İzan

The entrance floor welcome us with bright and attractive items such as motorcycles and helmets. We can see interpretations related to the bright world of meta and the post-industrial urban life. They represent the attractiveness of consumer products. These works arouse the feeling which a new car would arouse as well.



Patricia Piccinini,”Hold Me Close to Your Heart”, 2011

Installation view: ARTER, 2nd floor

Photo© Fethi İzan

On the first floor is surrogate mothers for hybrid creatures and endangered species. They prompt us to think of the”nature” perception of contemporary human, our place in nature and our efforts to control her. The artists aims to stop us harming the environment and bring the life span of the nature remained after us into question.

The last floor is about homes. Whole floor was designed like a home that would be familiar to us, so that we would feel more comfortable and better. Despite their ugly look, these creatures seem happy.


Patricia Piccinini,”Natues Little Helper’s”
With her exhibition”Hold Me Close To Your Heart”, Patricia Piccinini offers a world where it is still and really possible to hold each other close to our hearts, to be generous and endlessly patient, to accept the mistakes, stupidity and offensiveness of each other and to embrace each other more even on the toughest moments. There are questions in this exhibition; and the answers lies in you… And the essential question is how natural and artificial generations are developed and differentiated?

Piccinini wants to arouse curiosity among people, draw their attention and let them communicate with their own feelings. I believe she achieves her goal. The exhibition has clearly drawn attention of art lovers in Istanbul!

The artist also give the audience an opportunity to touch and hold these creatures close to their hearts. You have time until August 21 to touch and take the little strange baby of Piccinini on your lap.

I hope you will find answers in the exhibition…

Click on photos to enlarge;

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