TASMANIAN Premier Lara Giddings seems to have understood the Skywhale concept, according to its international artist Patricia Piccinini.
Skywhale was labelled last week by Launceston Alderman Annette Waddle as ``degrading to women'', while Ms Giddings said it was ``maternal''.
Alderman Waddle then quipped ``Has she had a baby?''
The huge hot air balloon that resembles a whale, took Piccinini more than two years to create, and was brought to Tasmania as part of the state's Dark Mofo celebrations.
Upon hearing Alderman Waddle's comments, Piccinini said she would never intend to make art that was degrading to women.
She said a Canberra hospital had even asked to supply a photograph of the project, to hang in the breastfeeding room of a maternity unit.
``As a woman who has breast-fed two children, who is a mother, and a feminist, I don't understand why anybody could say that about the work,'' Piccinini said.
``I don't understand why presenting breasts would demean women, especially because it is not about women, it is about a mythological creature.'' Piccinini added that breasts, or mammary glands, were natural and that all mammals had them.
She said this piece of work was about the wonder of nature, and how it ``perfectly'' adapts to time and place.
``Whales went into an incredibly difficult environment and they bred, and have managed to evolve and adapt so that they can live in the depths of the cold sea and breathe . . . but they could have gone into the sky, and evolution could've gone another way,'' she said.
``Why did I put the 10 breasts on her? Because aesthetically, I think they are very pleasing and beautiful, sensual and maternal . . . she is a very hopeful creature. I didn't want her to be completely alien to us - if she was some weird alien in the sky then we can't relate or connect with her emotionally.''