Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Skywhale.

Skywhale takes the form of a hybrid-mammal, representing a maternal figure with ten hanging udders.

By Derek Schlennstedt

We often look to the sky and wonder about our place in the world, and this is especially true when we see a whale with udders floating peacefully above.

On November 22 at 6am, borne on a slight south easterly breeze, Skywhale floated effortlessly above the Yarra Valley.

For those individuals driving to work in the wee small hours of the morning you can relax in the knowledge that what you witnessed was not a hallucination, and that the well-endowed whale which flew over Healesville-Yarra Glen road was in fact real.

The brainchild of Australian sculptor Patricia Piccinini, Skywhale was created in 2015 for Canberra’s centenary, and Australia‘s largest floating mammalian can only be described as one of the most intricate and unique balloons to have ever graced the skies of the Yarra Valley.

It is, without question, the chandelier of the hot air balloon world.

This morning’s flight was celebrating the opening of Tarrawarra’s exhibition ‘Through Love…’ by Patricia Piccinini and Joy Hester.

The exhibition collects Hester’s ink and paper works and Piccinini’s fantastical semi human sculptures.

Speaking to the Mail, Ms Piccinini described the Skywhale as a hybrid of mammals symbolising a mother figure.

She said that although she understands the buxom nature of the creature she doesn’t prescribe to the uproar surrounding it.

“To me, she is a real maternal figure and that’s quite lovely and in some ways I valorise that in my work,” Ms Piccinini said.

“I valorise nurturing and that’s what breasts are for … to nurture.”

“She’s a very nurturing and benign figure and I don’t think I know anybody who cannot fall in love with her.”

The exhibition Through Love will run from November 24 to March 11, and while Skywhale is generally kept deflated in a box keep a weather eye on the horizon, as she may not be the balloon we deserve, but she is the loveable, charismatic balloon with undulating breasts that we need and she will return.