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 galleries are open today 10am–3pm. Our exhibitions are always free.

In Conversation
Katie West and Simon Charles

In Conversation<br>Katie West and Simon Charles

Join us at PICA for a conversation between exhibiting artist Katie West, and collaborator & composer Simon Charles focusing on the production and synergies between Katie’s material exploration and Simon’s soundscape composition.  

You are invited to gain a deeper insight into the immersive installation that forms part of We hold you close, a major solo show by artist Katie West, curated by Eloise Sweetman. Working with textiles and locally sourced plant matter, York-based artist Katie West’s installations invite us to reconsider our relationship with the natural environment and each other.  

Hear more about the collaborative process of creating the exhibition, including the dyeing workshop held by Katie and Simon in their backyard in York, Ballardong Country. Katie and Simon’s friends and family were invited to collect plant materials and dye fabric and immerse them in pots of water, to bubble away and become infused with the colour and scent of country.

This collaborative process extends to the soundscape created by Simon Charles and performers Jameson Feakes and Djuna Lee, which echoes through the gallery space to create a full-bodied sensory experience.

About the Artists

Katie West (b. 1988) belongs to the Yindjibarndi people of the Pilbara tablelands in Western Australia. The process and notion of naturally dyeing fabric underpin her practice – the rhythm of walking, gathering, bundling, boiling up water and infusing materials with plant matter. In 2017 West completed a Master of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, graduating as the Dominik Mersch Gallery Award recipient and the Falls Creek Resort Indigenous Award. Exhibitions and commissions include Decolonist, Next Wave Festival, Melbourne; Radical Ecologies, PICA, Perth; Roll on, Roll on, Phenomena (until you are no more), curated by Eloise Sweetman, Jan van Eyck Academy, The Netherlands; Warna (ground), Caves Gallery, Melbourne; wilayi bangarrii, wanyaarri (go for a walk, listen), Dominik Mersch Gallery, Sydney NSW; Installation Contemporary, Sydney Contemporary 2019, Carriageworks, Sydney NSW; Clearing, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville. West also shares a collaborative project with artist and writer Fayen d’Evie entitled Museum Incognita.

Simon Charles is a composer, saxophonist and electro-acoustic musician, working within the fields of experimental composition and improvised music. He has collaborated with Manfred Werder, Jim Denley, Katie West, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sparrows Collective, the Phonetic Orchestra, Lizzy Welsh, Callum G’Froerer and Rebecca Lane. He has studied composition with Peter Ablinger and Anthony Pateras, and holds a Masters’ degree in performance and composition from the Victorian College of the Arts. 


Presented in association with the Perth Festival.
Supported by Visual Arts Program Partner Wesfarmers Arts.

Image: Ryan Sandilands