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.

Our foyer is open today 10am–5pm. Our exhibitions are always free.

Alluvial Gold Louise Devenish, Stuart James, Erin Coates

Alluvial Gold Louise Devenish, Stuart James & Erin Coates

Alluvial Gold Louise Devenish, Stuart James & Erin Coates

Alluvial Gold presents a sonic exploration of the often-forgotten worlds below the surface of our rivers in a performance installation by percussionist Louise Devenish, and composer Stuart James in collaboration with visual artist Erin Coates.

Australian rivers such as the Derbarl Yerrigan (WA) were heavily dredged and ground up for mortar, roads, and building materials at sites across the city throughout European settlement. Similar histories of dredging, changing estuarine ecology, and the impacts of settler intervention took place in river systems across southern Australia, particularly in areas used as ports or trading routes following European colonisation.

Taking the histories, materials, and ecology of metropolitan rivers in Australia as a point of departure, Alluvial gold explores the changing worlds below river surfaces caused by colonisation and industrialisation.

Instruments are modelled on dolphin bones, native oyster shells, and marine ecology, paired with electronics and nestled against curtains of shells creating a sparkling cluster of harmonics, percussion, and sculpture mixed with sound recordings captured in the river.

Exploring the confluence of multiple narratives connected to rivers – Alluvial Gold offers a sonic picture of what is below the surface in this art installation meets contemporary music performance.

Purchase your tickets
20 June | 7pm – Opening Night
21 June | 7pm – Post Show Q&A
22 June | 7pm – Closing Night

About the Artists

Creative directors & performers: Louise Devenish & Stuart James
Video & sculptural instruments: Erin Coates
Projection Design: Mia Holton
Set Designer: Bruce McKinven
Lighting Designer: Peter Young
Costume Designer: Harriet Oxley
Producer: Tristen Parr, Tura New Music

Dr Louise Devenish is an award-winning percussive artist whose creative practice blends performance, artistic research and collaboration with composers, visual artists, designers and improvisors. As a soloist and with ensembles Decibel, The Sound Collectors, Speak Percussion and Intercurrent, she has appeared at festivals including MONA FOMA, Shanghai World Expo, Ojai Music Festival, Tage für Neue Musik, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Tongyeong International Music Festival. Acknowledged for ‘interpretive flair and technical brilliance’, her performances can be heard on international labels HatArt, Ezz-thetics, Listen/Hear, Immediata, Navona, Tall Poppies, and room40. Louise is currently undertaking an Australian Research Council Fellowship at Monash University.

Dr Stuart James is an award-winning Western Australian-based composer, performer, sound designer, audio engineer, and producer. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by TaikOz, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, the WASO New Music Ensemble, the Sartory String Quartet, Michael Kieran Harvey, Adam Pinto, and have been recorded and released on Tall Poppies and the ABC. James is a founding member of Decibel New Music ensemble and is currently Lecturer in composition and music technology at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.
Stuart holds a PhD in spatial audio, spectral synthesis, and wave terrain synthesis research, and has continued to publish regularly on music technology.

Erin Coates is a visual artist working across drawing, sculpture and film. Her work is informed by her deep interest in biology, science fiction and genre film cultures. Drawing from her own background in rock climbing and freediving, her practice focuses on the limits of our bodies and physical interaction with and within given environments. Recent work has centred on Australia’s unique marine and estuarine ecologies and the various anthropogenic impacts on them. Her artworks at times engage with a transgressive bodily aesthetic while proposing possible post-human futures. Coates is a current participant in rīvus, the 23rd Biennale of Sydney.

Tura is a not-for-profit cultural and community development organisation based in Perth, Western Australia. Tura is a producer as well as a resource centre and cultural advocate. Founded in 1987 Tura has a proud history of achievement in initiating cultural development from the inner city to remote communities across Australia.

Tura engages in an inspiring and innovative exploration of music and sound that resonates within Australian culture and the wider global community. We produce projects and experiences that celebrate music and the sonic arts. We prioritise collaboration, embrace cross-cultural learning, and defy expectations. Tura makes a leading contribution to the cultural life of Australia and beyond through award-winning productions and community engagement programs. Tura supports artistic risk and innovation to stimulate participants and audiences to experience uncommon perceptions of their world and themselves.


Presented by PICA and Tura

The premiere season was presented by the Perth Festival, Tura and Goolugatup Heathcote.

The redevelopment of Alluvial Gold has been supported by the Western Australian Government through the Department of Local Government Sport and Cultural Industries.

Dr Louise Devenish is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DE200100555) funded by the Australian Government.

Tura’s annual program is supported by the State Government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, in association with Lotterywest and The Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding advisory body.

Image: Emma Fishwick