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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Call-out: PICA interdisciplinary lab

Call-out: PICA interdisciplinary lab

Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) and the Australia Council for the Arts recognize the tumultuous year for the arts in 2020 and how independent artists have been affected in a multitude of ways, including opportunities to gather and connect in a global context.
In 2021, PICA will host the first of a three-year artist exchange and professional development program with Australian and South and Southeast Asian artists. In 2021, this will include three artist labs led by Australian artists Joel Bray and Eugenia Lim, and will focus on interdisciplinary and intercultural practice through discussion, practice sharing and workshops. The labs will be an experiment in finding innovative ways of fostering togetherness and embodied practice, even when we must remain physically separated.
The Interdisciplinary Lab is an extension of PICA’s professional development programs led by practicing artists with access to alternative methodologies and ways of thinking and making. Under PICA’s remit to support interdisciplinary practice, this program will foster learning, skills development and collaboration with a focus on exchange between artists living and working across the Australian and South/Southeast Asian regions.
A participation fee of $1500 AUD will be provided to each artist for a week’s worth of commitment spread across the year.
2021 marks the first of a three-year engagement with the potential in later years to gather in person in Perth, when travel is again possible. Further outcomes will be dependent on the 2021 lab.

The Lab Program

The Interdisciplinary Lab will:

  1. Connect artists from Australia and South and Southeast Asian regions.
  2. Provide professional development for artists seeking to engage in dialogue and practice in an interdisciplinary and intercultural performance context.
  3. Provide a rigorous and supportive learning environment to foster experimentation, critical thinking, skills development and play.

In 2021, there will be three lab phases, beginning in March with ‘Encounter’, artists will gather digitally to share and reflect on their work and begin new relationships and dialogues. August brings ‘Practice’, a lab focused on sharing intercultural and interdisciplinary practices, and November brings ‘Play’, a time for generative making and collaboration.
March–April: ENCOUNTER
3 weeks, approximately 3 online meetings and creative tasks.

  • embodied practice in the digital space: cooking, walking, talking, sharing, dancing together.
  • the goal over this first phase is to get to know each other as artists and people, starting from an embodied space.

3 weeks, approximately 3 online meetings and creative tasks.

  • listening and sharing strategies and practices, including:
  • the importance of place
  • how culture affects the work we make and the work we make affects culture
  • locating the personal or the specific within the global
  • the role of language (written, verbal, artform)
  • the borders between (geographies, cultures, artforms) and the potential of blurring.

November: PLAY
3 weeks, approximately 3 online meetings and creative tasks

  • gameplay through collaborative artistic experimentation
  • learning from each other’s artistic and practical methodologies and processes
  • PARTY!

For more information visit the Australia Council for the Arts webpage here.
Expressions of Interest are due Friday 15 January 2021, 11.59 pm AEDT (NSW, VIC, TAS, ACT time).

Direct enquiries to: Nithya Nagarajan, International Market Adviser, South and Southeast Asia, Australia Council for the Arts at or
(02) 9215 9324.

About the artist-facilitators

Joel Bray

Photo by Pippa Samaya.

Melbourne-based artist Joel Bray is a proud Wiradjuri man. He began dancing at age 20 in traditional Aboriginal and Contemporary dance forms at NAISDA Dance College and went on to graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2005. Joel has performed with CHUNKY MOVE, touring in Complexity of Belonging and An Act of Now, and with Anouk van Dijk and Falk Richter in their production Safe Places at the Frankfurt Schauspielhaus.
Learn more about Joel Bray.
Eugenia Lim
Photo by Bryony Jackson.

Eugenia Lim is an Australian artist of Chinese–Singaporean descent who works across video, performance and installation to explore how national identities cut, divide and bond our globalised world. Lim has exhibited, screened or performed at the Tate Modern, LOOP Barcelona, FIVA (Buenos Aires), Buxton Contemporary, GOMA, Kassel Dokfest, and EXiS (Seoul) among others. Lim is the co-director (with Mish Grigor and Lara Thoms) of APHIDS and is represented by STATION.
Learn more about Eugenia Lim.