Housed in an iconic heritage building in the heart of Perth, PICA is the place to experience the very best of local, Australian and international contemporary art in Western Australia.
Over its 30-year history, PICA has operated as both a producing and presenting organisation, delivering an annual program of changing exhibitions, seasons in contemporary dance, experimental theatre, new music and live art as well as a range of artist in residence programs.
PICA works with artists who are trail-blazers, exemplars, innovators and change-makers and acts as a site for challenging and timely conversations.
Its programs are carefully crafted, ensuring connections are forged not only between artists and audiences but across art forms, cultures and geographies. For artists, audiences and other communities it serves, PICA is a meeting place, a provocateur, a resource and most importantly a partner in the realisation of big and new ideas.
Housed in a large and striking heritage building in the Perth Cultural Centre, Western Australia, PICA was incorporated in 1989 but its emergence was preceded by the commitment and hard work undertaken over five years by its founders. Securing PICA’s eventual location, in what was originally the Perth Central School in the heart of the Cultural Centre, was fundamental to that process.
The new organisation partly ‘follow[ed] on from Praxis (Western Australia’s former Contemporary Art Space now amalgamated with PICA), which had a 15-year history of producing an important program of visual arts exhibitions, publications and special projects. Praxis had been a part of a network of contemporary art spaces across Australia; organisations which had their origins in the alternative spaces of the 1970s, and which at their best have been critical, challenging and provocative.
The intention of those people and groups involved in the development of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts was that it would provide a new forum for the analysis and presentation of critical and contemporary art practice. This practice would include the visual arts, music, dance and performance along with their contemporary and interdisciplinary variants but would be wider than any list of art forms… Fundamental to the concept of PICA was that culture was not an isolated province but intimately connected to the social, economic, psychological and political dimensions of contemporary life.’ 1
The late Noel Sheridan was the inaugural Director of PICA from 1989–93. During that time he put his vision into action by delivering a dynamic program and overseeing the initial renovation of the building that PICA still calls home. He was succeeded by Sarah Miller, who from 1993–2006 continued PICA’s development into one of the country’s most innovative, best-known and loved contemporary arts venues in Australia. In 2006, Amy Barrett-Lennard was appointed as Director. She led the evolution of PICA until August 2022, responding to the changing needs and desires of artists and audiences, with the ultimate goal of forging an inclusive space that sits at the nexus of art, innovation, and community. In October 2022, Hannah Mathews joined PICA as its new CEO.
1. John Barrett-Lennard, ‘A spacious central location…’, catalogue essay for A spacious central location: installations for PICA and the Cultural Centre, (Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, 1990), p.4
Education to Art – PICA Heritage Booklet
Delve deeper into the archives presented in PICA’s new publication which details PICA’s history from 1896 to now.
Hannah Mathews – Director/CEO
Alana Culverhouse – General Manager
Anne Tunnecliffe – Development
Sarah Wall – Curator
Ariane Katscherian – Producer
Jenn Garland – Learning & Access
Miranda Johnson – Public Programs & Studios
Olivia Nichols – Exhibitions
Brent Harrison – Hatched Curatorial Fellow
Nanci Nott – Communications
Erin Lockyer – Marketing
Tim Green – Design
Manda Campbell – Front of House
Mark Clapham – Chair
Mark Clapham is the Joint Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield, Western Australia. Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE:CWK) is a leading global commercial property company specialising in the sale, leasing and asset management of institutional-grade commercial office assets and new office development precincts. Mark has over 34 years of experience across Australia and in London, providing strategic property advice to institutional property owners and wholesale private clients.
Prior to Cushman & Wakefield. Mark jointly owned and built Sheffield Property a leading boutique commercial real estate advisory firm in Perth which was purchased by Cushman & Wakefield in 2022. He has previously held senior leadership positions and company director roles across other leading global organisations such as Brookfield and CBRE. He is also an active member of the Property Council of Australia.
Mark joined the board as Director of PICA in 2020 and assumed the role of Chair in 2022.
James Brown – Treasurer
James Brown has more than 20 years’ international tax experience, both as a former ‘Big 4’ Tax Director and in-house Head of Tax in both mining and mining services groups. As Head of Tax and Treasury for Capital Limited, a UK main board-listed global mining services provider, James has overall responsibility for all direct and indirect taxes. He also oversees the corporate treasury function for the global group and is responsible for the enterprise risk management framework across the business.
Kelly Fliedner – Board Member
Kelly Fliedner is a writer, editor and curator with over 15 years of experience working with arts organisations across Australia and Asia. She is interested in the convergence of critical and creative discourses surrounding contemporary art, working on many creative writing projects for organisations such as the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India, the Biennale of Sydney, and the Next Wave Festival. Kelly is currently an Editor at Tura New Music, where she is writing a history of the experimental music organisation, and is co-founder and editor of Semaphore, a publishing project about art from Western Australia.
Minali Gamage – Board Member
Minali Gamage is a governance, risk and audit professional with 18 years’ experience working primarily with critical infrastructure and global mining companies, both as a management consultant and in-house. Minali regularly supports the arts through advocacy, philanthropy, arts advisory roles, and collecting. She is the founder of perth.art.seeker, a social media-based information-sharing service about art exhibitions, events, and industry opportunities in and around Perth.
Tarryn Gill – Board Member
Tarryn Gill is a multidisciplinary artist from Boorloo/Perth, Western Australia. She works across sculpture, photography, video, drawing, theatre design and performance. Through her solo & collaborative practices, she has exhibited works and undertaken residency projects across Australia, in Argentina, France, Germany, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Japan. Tarryn is represented in numerous collections nationally, including Artbank, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art.
Theo Kailis – Board Member
Theo Kailis is the Executive Director and shareholder of Austral Fisheries, Australia’s leading integrated, sustainable commercial fishing company, and a board member of The Shipowners’ Club. Theo’s family has produced high quality, sustainably caught seafood products for customers worldwide for 40 years. Proud of his Greek heritage, Theo believes arts and culture are essential. He draws upon his experience studying, working and living in Greece, Spain and Sydney to nurture and develop contemporary art in his hometown.
Carly Lane – Board Member
Carly Lane, a Murri woman from Queensland, works as a Principal Advisor and Curator of Strategic Projects in the Aboriginal History WA unit of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. In short, she will help to showcase the history and stories of Aboriginal people in Western Australia. Carly has been curating Aboriginal art and stories in various museums and galleries for 20+ years, both here in Perth and in Canberra. For her, curating is not just a vocation; it is a way to (1) care for culture, (2) elevate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, and (3) support Aboriginal self-determination, equality and social change. She finds inspiration in political art and any art (really) where the artist speaks their political, social and cultural truth.
Melvin Yeo – Board Member
Melvin Yeo is a company director and corporate lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience. He has a global client base, and has also co-founded various international mineral exploration projects. Melvin’s experience includes governance, strategic planning, legal affairs, capital raising, operational oversight and transaction negotiations. Melvin is a supporter of the arts and is a Trustee of the WA State Government’s Arts and Culture Trust. He is also a keen collector of contemporary works by Australian artists and has previously served on the Murdoch University Art Collection board. Melvin was also a co-founder and board member of Heritage Perth Inc.
Aboriginal Advisory Group
Our interim Aboriginal Advisory Group is made up of leading Aboriginal visual and performing artists and arts workers: Sharyn Egan, Stephen Gilchrist, Glenn Iseger-Pilkington, Rohin Kickett and Janine Oxenham.
From July 2023, our interim group will work together to determine the scope and lay the foundations for an ongoing Advisory Group.
By forming an Aboriginal Advisory Group, PICA seeks to embed the voices and cultural protocols of Indigenous artists into the words and actions of what we do. PICA recognises the rights of First Nations people to oversee the representation of their diverse cultures. First Nations programming at PICA must therefore be First Nations-led.
Sharyn Egan is a Noongar woman who began creating art at the age of 37, which lead to her enrolling in a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Claremont School of Art in Perth. She completed this course in 1998 and enrolled in the Associate Degree in Contemporary Aboriginal Art at Curtin University, which she completed in 2000. In 2001 she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Arts) from Curtin University. She has also been awarded a Certificate VI in Training and Education in 2011. The themes in Egan’s work are informed by the experiences of her life as a Noongar woman.
Belonging to the Yamatji people of the Inggarda language group of northwest Western Australia, Dr Stephen Gilchrist is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Indigenous Studies at The University of Western Australia. He is a writer and curator who has worked with the Indigenous Australian collections of the National Gallery of Australia, British Museum, National Gallery of Victoria and Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (2011–2013). Gilchrist has curated numerous exhibitions in Australia and the United States and has written extensively on Indigenous Art from Australia. 2012–2016, he was the Australian Studies Visiting Curator at the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University.
Glenn Iseger-Pilkington (Nhanda and Noongar Peoples/Dutch/Scottish) is the Curator of Visual Arts at Fremantle Art Centre in Walyalup (Fremantle), Western Australia. Iseger-Pilkington undertook formal art training at the School of Contemporary Art, Edith Cowan University, majoring in printmaking. Over the last 17 years, he has worked within the visual arts sector as an arts development officer, curator, advisor, and advocate for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artists. Iseger-Pilkington has also held the roles of Senior Curator (FORM: building a state of creativity), Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art and Material Culture (South Australian Museum), Curator Content Development, (New Museum Project | Western Australian Museum) and Associate Curator of Indigenous Objects and Photography (Art Gallery of Western Australia).
Rohin Kickett is a Balardong, Whadjuk Noongar artist born in Northam, Western Australia 1986. He spent his childhood years in Gosnells and now resides in Armadale, where he has been a full-time practising artist since 2017. Before becoming an artist, Kickett had completed an apprenticeship in Metal Fabrication and 1st Class Welding, where he spent 12 years in the metal fabrication industry. At 32, Rohin completed the Indigenous Tertiary Enabling Course at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin University. Over the last six years, Kickett has participated in many exhibitions, held solo exhibitions, completed a residency along with international cultural exchange programs, and completed multiple public art projects.
Janine Oxenham is a Malgana Yamatji woman from the Shark Bay area in WA. She has studied dance at both NAISDA College, NSW and WAAPA, WA. She has choreographed and performed as a freelance contemporary Indigenous dancer for numerous festivals in regional WA. In 2015 she mounted the work Willy Willy as part of the Ausdance’s Future Landings project. She has facilitated community dance groups and performed as part of the core crew for the travelling festival Creality (formerly Gascoyne in May) for the past nine years. More recently, Oxenham has worked as Movement Director and choreographer for Yirra Yaakin and Perth Festival productions of Hecate and Panawathi Girl.
Artist Advisory Group
Initiated in 2023, PICA’s Artist Advisory Group includes a panel of artists from across art forms and generations who will work together to advise PICA on matters of importance to artists. Chaired by the current artist member of the PICA Board of Directors, the group is committed to including diverse experiences and perspectives and advocating for the needs of artists and the community.
Comprised of 12 experienced individuals, six artists have been appointed to the group, with another six appointed over the coming months.
Kieron Broadhurst is a multidisciplinary artist from Boorloo (Perth) who explores the speculative potential of fiction within contemporary art practice. He has exhibited within WA and interstate, including exhibitions at John Curtin Gallery (WA), Firstdraft (NSW), and FELTspace (SA).
Erin Coates is a visual artist and creative producer living in Boorloo (Perth). She creates drawings, sculptures and films that examine our relationship with the natural world, physical thresholds and the nature of transformed bodies – both human and non-human. In 2021 The Art Gallery of Western Australia held a solo survey exhibition of Coate’s video and film work and in 2022, she was commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney to create new work. Her artwork is held in major collections including the Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Wesfarmers Collection, Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art and the Murdoch University Art Collection. Coates holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is represented by Moore Contemporary.
Jessyca Hutchens is a Palyku woman living in Boorloo (Perth). She is an art historian and curator currently working as a lecturer in Indigenous Studies at The University of Western Australia. She was recently the Curator at the Berndt Museum, where she continues to hold a research position, and in 2020 she worked on a landmark Indigenous-led edition of the Biennale of Sydney as the Curatorial Assistant to the Artistic Director. Hutchens writes regularly on contemporary art for various publications, and is part of an ERC funded research project, Repatriates, looking at intersections between contemporary art and museum collections. She has a PhD in art history from the University of Oxford and is a founding editor of an online journal of artistic research, oarplatform.com(.)
Ilona McGuire is a Bibbulmun Noongar and Kungarakan interdisciplinary artist. Her interest in all forms of creative expression manifests through culturally informed visual work, writing, music, dance and open artistic practice. Ilona centralizes the Indigenous experience of Australia’s ongoing systemic dysfunction by exploration of its historical, social and political impacts on her families and broader communities. Following her 2021 drone light show, Moombaki with the Fremantle Biennale, Ilona was awarded the Schenberg Art Commendation for Hatched: National Graduate Show 2022 and residency at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). In 2022, her work was exhibited at Fremantle Art Centre, Stala Contemporary, Goolugatup Heathcote Gallery, John Curtin Gallery and now in NSW for the National 4: Australian Art Now (2023).
Renée Newman is an educator, performer, writer, dramaturg, director, and producer – or simply a performance maker. Her performance interests/credits include traditional narrative; co-authorship writing techniques; site specific performance and audio (walking) performance; contemporary performance with historical verbatim text; and dramaturgy. Her current project is Catastrophes a new contemporary performance work with Ella Hetherington commissioned by PICA which will premiere in 2023. She is a lecturer at WAAPA at ECU, Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Performing Arts Honours and current Associate Dean (Research) WAAPA.
Rachel Arianne Ogle
Rachel Arianne Ogle is a Western Australian dance artist with an extensive career as a dancer, performer, choreographer, educator and arts worker. Ogle has created work for Sydney Dance Company, Tasdance, Maya Dance Theatre (Singapore), Proximity Festival, Link Dance Company, WAAPA, Nat Cursio Company, STRUT Dance and STEPS Youth Dance Company. Ogle has been nominated for a Helpmann Award for ‘Best Dance Work’ and shortlisted for an Australian Dance Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance’ in 2015; and awarded ‘Best Choreographer’ in the Performing Arts WA Awards in 2020. Her latest work And The Earth Will Swallow Them Whole had its commissioned premiere in Perth Festival 2022. She is a 2022 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow.