The Skywhale - the night glow

Video editing project for Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini and The Centenary of Canberra

Patricia Piccinini is a Melbourne- based artist and sculptor who was commissioned by the Centenary of Canberra to create a balloon to fly over the 100- year old city. The result was the imaginative and somewhat provocative invention of the Skywhale. Blueboat Design, a creative design studio in South Yarra who have managed Piccinini’s website and social media for years, were asked to produce a video of an evening demonstration of the Skywhale in the Australian capitol. Stina had the pleasure of putting the raw footage together and edit a polished glimpse of the beast in action.

Most of the captured shots were dark and only hinted that something big was unveiled in Canberra through dim lights and flickers. A first glance at the footage of the by-standing crowd also reminded Stina of an early David Lynch production; a slightly nightmarish and kitsch scenario where an unknown creature presented itself to naive youngsters. The bystanders were mostly impressed, but there was also a sense that some people were a little threatened by the whale’s appearance, perhaps a little frightened by its unknown nature and motives. As Piccinini put it “What is the Skywhale? Is she good or evil? We just don’t know”.

This sense of mystique and nightmarish momentum inspired Stina to brief Duncan de Burgh Millar, a Melbourne- based musician, to compose an ambient, yet slightly sinister score. Once the score was completed, the editing was dictated by its rhythm. The editing took place in Final Cut Pro.


Blueboat Design - producing
Mark Chew - filming
Duncan de Burgh Millar - music
Stina Johansson - editing