Skywhales coming to Bordertown

SKYWHALES: These specially crafted hot air balloons in the shape of whales will be floating above Bordertown next month.

BORDERTOWN may be a long way from the sea but next month whales will be seen floating above the inland town in the form of specially made hot air balloons.

In a display called ‘Skywhales: Every heart sings’, two hot air balloon sculptures of whales, towering seven storeys high, will rise into the pre-dawn sky from Bordertown Football Oval on Saturday, February 19.

On a two year tour which began in Albury last April, Skywhales comes from the Australian National Gallery’s collection and was created by artist Patricia Piccinni.

The skywhale family look like large friendly whales except they float in the sky rather than the sea.

From Ms Piccinni’s series of drawings, the whales were crafted in a specialist hot air balloon factory in Bristol in the United Kingdom.

The largest of the two whales, called Skywhalepapa, is 25 metres tall and 37 metres long and made up of 3.6 kms of fabric requiring 3.6 million stitches.

Skywhalepapa is holding nine babies.

For Ms Piccinni, this reflects the changing role of male caregivers and celebrates a father’s capacity to love and support.

For the Bordertown event, entry is free although bookings through the website are essential.

Gates will open at 4.30am for the pre-dawn festivities at this once in a lifetime community event.

The sculptures will gradually inflate over 90 minutes, reaching their full height before taking off at sunrise.

The event will end at 7am.