At PICA we recognise that we are situated within the unceded lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar Nation. We pay our respects and offer our gratitude to Elders past and present, and to those emerging leaders in the community. We acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the importance of their care and continued connection to culture, community and Country.

Always was, always will be.

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2025 Judy Wheeler Commission – Call out for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists 

2025 Judy Wheeler Commission - Call out for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Artists 

Expressions of Interest for the 2025 Judy Wheeler Commission are now open. 

What is the Judy Wheeler Commission?

The Judy Wheeler Commission is a 10-year site-specific commissioning program established in memory of the late Judy Wheeler, generously supported by the Simpson Family.

Awarded annually, the Judy Wheeler Commission supports new artwork commissions by Australia-based artists that respond physically or conceptually to the architecture and history of PICA’s building and its site. 

Artists are encouraged to match PICA’s spirit of risk and experimentation, addressing spaces that PICA’s visitors move through when visiting the building, including its entrance lobby, foyer, stairwells and balcony mezzanine.

Each commission is installed for up to a one-year period.

The recipient of the Judy Wheeler Commission will receive: 

  • $10,000 artist fee (plus superannuation) 
  • $10,000 towards development and production expenses 
  • $5,000 towards travel expenses (airfares, accommodation, per diem) 
  • Presentation as part of PICA’s 2025 program  
  • Support from PICA’s team and interim Aboriginal Advisory Group  

Who Can Apply

Entering its third year, the Judy Wheeler Commission invites all Australia-based artists identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander who are age 17+ to apply. Artists can be at any stage of their career (i.e. from emerging to established) and working in mediums that might include, but not be limited to, painting, sculpture, sound and video.   

All applicants are encouraged to read the following guidelines and include reference to any potential cultural partnerships or consultation they would like to undertake as part of their commission within their application.  

Applicants must be available to travel to Perth to install their work and participate in public program events in February 2025.  

How to Submit an Application

Artists are invited to submit an application by completing the following; 

Please send through your completed application and documents to communications@pica.org.au by Monday 27 May 2024, 5 pm (AWST).

Selection Criteria

Artwork proposals are assessed against the following criteria: 

  1. Eligibility  
    Applicants must meet the eligibility requirements. 
  1. Program Objectives 
    Applications must address some or all of the objectives of the Judy Wheeler Commission, which are to support works that: 
  • Are accessible, high-quality and celebrate the breadth and inventiveness of contemporary arts practice in Australia; 
  • Respond to or challenge the architecture and history of PICA’s building and site; 
  • Spark curiosity and expand the relevance and reach of contemporary arts experiences; 
  • Activate the spaces through which visitors enter and move through PICA; and 
  • Support the careers of artists that reflect the diversity of Australian society. 
  1. Feasibility 
    The proposed artwork must be appropriate to be installed within the PICA building and be deliverable within the timelines and budget set out.  

Register for an Online Meeting

Interested artists are encouraged to register for an online meeting in early May to discuss their proposal. 

This will be an opportunity to meet with members of PICA’s interim Aboriginal Advisory Group, including Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, Janine Oxenham and Stephen Gilchrist, and PICA’s Director/CEO Hannah Mathews to discuss your application and any questions before submitting.  

These meetings will take place online on Monday 6 May 2–5pm (AWST) and Wednesday 8 May 10am– 12:30pm (AWST). To register for a 20-minute online meeting, please use the online booking form below.  

If you would like a meeting but are not available on either of these dates, please contact communications@pica.org.au 

Who is on the Selection Panel

The 2025 Judy Wheeler Commission Selection Panel will include members of PICA’s interim Aboriginal Advisory Group Rohin Kickett and Carly Lane, along with Michael Bonner, Curator, Berndt Museum of Anthropology. 

The Selection Panel will make a short list of artists based on applications received and will hold interviews with these artists on Friday 14 June 2024. The selected artist will be notified on 17 June 2024. 

How Will I be Supported if I am Successful

The selected artist will work closely with the PICA team and with the support of PICA’s interim Aboriginal Advisory Group in both developing and realising the new commission. 

Key Dates

Applications Open3 April 2024
Online Feedback Meetings 6 and 8 May 2024
Applications Close27 May 2024 5pm AWST
Applicant Notification17 June 2024
Artwork Development & ProductionJuly – December 2024
Artwork Installation23 January – 5 February 2024

Application Support

If you face barriers in completing the application forms, please get in touch with PICA directly by calling (08) 9228 6300 or emailing communications@pica.org.au

Further Facts and FAQ’s

Where can I access more information on the PICA building and site?

Images, floor plans and information on the history of the PICA building and site can be found on PICA’s Dropbox.

Who were the previous recipients?

2023

Diana Baker Smith
Falling Towards Another (Score for the Void)

2022

Elizabeth Willing
Roost

Can a collective of artists apply?

Yes, however the artist fee will remain $10,000 and will need to be distributed among the collective members. Additionally, PICA can only support travel costs for up to $5,000. 

Do I have to be based in WA to apply? 

You do not need to be based in WA to apply. Applications are open to artists who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples currently based in all states and territories across Australia.  

What should my application include?

The following items need to be submitted to apply for the Judy Wheeler Commission: 

  • Artwork proposal addressing: 
    – Artwork concept and materials; 
    – Proposed PICA location for the artwork; 
    – Timeline with key milestones; 
    – How the artwork responds to the objectives of the 2025 Judy Wheeler Commission 
    – Any cultural consultation or partnerships you’d like to undertake in the realisation of your work. 
  • Artist CV (written, max 2 x A4 pages)  
  • Visual presentation of proposed artwork (drawings or similar, max 5 images) 
  • Examples of relevant existing artworks (max 5 images) 

Please note that PICA may request additional information or clarification from the applicant if shortlisted. 

Is it possible to submit my application in an alternative format? 

Yes, please contact communications@pica.org.au if you require further information.  

Can I submit more than one proposal? 

Only 1 submission per individual artist will be accepted. An artist can however submit an additional application as part of an artist collective. 

Can the proposed work have been previously presented? 

No, the proposed work must be new and made specifically for the Judy Wheeler Commission and PICA site.

Which spaces in PICA are available for proposed commission works?  

All spaces in the PICA building excluding galleries, studios and administration spaces are available for artists to consider in their proposal. This includes the stairwells, hallways, mezzanine balcony and windows. 

Do I have to select one PICA space for my proposal? 

No, you can propose to use multiple areas of the PICA building, excluding gallery spaces.

If I am unsuccessful in my application, can I get feedback on my submission?

Due to the high volume of applications received, we are unable to provide feedback to each applicant. We do, however, encourage you to maintain a relationship with PICA and apply again in the future.  

Are applications going to open every year, or are you programming all the works for the next 10 years this year?

Don’t worry! We are excited to see what future artists have to offer. Applications are open every year.