About the artwork

Patricia Piccinini’s Vernal Glade is an expansive array of colourful ceramic tiles elevated above the concourse at Parkville Station.

The vast field of handmade tiles is a gesture of care to the users of this vibrant precinct, offering a moment of visual calm. The tiles epitomise the interaction of respectful human ingenuity and natural materials, linking the past to the possibilities of a positive future.

The tiles have been hand crafted in Japan to create a calming visual field of organic forms and colours. Piccinini designed the tiles in response to this place of healing, research and learning. The work draws upon biophilic design principles with the colour selection of the tiles referencing nature and the Australian bush to evoke emotions of calm, optimism, and warmth. Piccinini also worked with the station design team to develop the eucalyptus-inspired green colour scheme that frames the artwork.

About the artist

Internationally recognised artist Patricia Piccinini was born in Sierra Leone and lives in Melbourne. Her work encompasses sculpture, photography, video and drawing, and her practice examines the increasingly nebulous boundary between the artificial and the natural as it appears in contemporary culture and ideas.

Her surreal drawings, hybrid animals and vehicular creatures question the way contemporary technology and culture changes our understanding of what it means to be human and wonders at our relationships with – and responsibilities towards – that which we create.

In 2003, Piccinini represented Australia at the 50th Venice Biennale with a hyperrealist sculpture of her distinctive anthropomorphic animals. In 2016 The Art Newspaper named Piccinini’s 'ComCiencia' the most popular contemporary art exhibition in the world after the show in Rio de Janeiro attracted over 444,000 visitors.

A major show, 'A Miracle Constantly Repeated', exhibited from winter 2021 to winter 2022 above Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Street Station as part of Victoria’s state arts festival, RISING.