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Skywhales to soar over Ballarat this July

Visit Ballarat

09 May 2022

Filed underNews

Two unique hot air balloon sculptures will take to the city’s skies as part of the Ballarat Winter Festival.

Renowned Australian artist Patricia Piccinini is the mastermind behind Skywhale and Skywhalepapa.

Skywhale was created by Patricia in 2013 and was later joined by companion balloon Skywhalepapa – who carries nine baby skywhales in the shelter of his giant flippers – in 2020.

The Ballarat launch event, Skywhales: Every Heart Sings, will be held on Saturday 9 July at dawn.

It will be accompanied by music written by Canberra musician Jess Green (AKA Pheno) in collaboration with Patricia.

The moment of lift-off will take place to the ethereal sounds of a 100-strong children’s choir under the guidance of local musician Stella Savy.

Entry is free but visitors are encouraged to register on the Art Gallery of Ballarat website to be part of the action.

Click here to register

The final flight path will depend on weather conditions on the day.

Every Heart Sings is a project that talks about nature, family, evolution, care and wonder,” Patricia said.

“The Skywhales float into our lives to make us smile and think.”

Skywhales: Every Heart Sings is a National Gallery Touring Event supported by principal partner The Naomi Milgrom Foundation and Visions Australia.

The Ballarat Winter Festival will run from 25 June until 17 July.

Main image: Patricia Piccinini, Skywhalepapa, 2020, National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, commissioned with the assistance of The Balnaves Foundation 2019, purchased 2020, © Patricia Piccinini


The City of Ballarat acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land we live and work on, the Wadawurrung and Dja Dja Wurrung People, and recognises their continuing connection to the land and waterways. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend this to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.