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.

Ilona McGuire

Ilona McGuire

Throughout the evolution of my art practice, I have explored a wide range of mediums to convey my most intimate contemplations. I have attempted to push the viewer experience by combining contemporary and Indigenous concepts. I find that this approach often creates interesting reactions stirred by questions about the relationships between the materials or imagery represented. The most consistent element of my art practice has always been my research methods and concept. I typically explore cultural identity, race relations and traditional versus contemporary Indigenous values. Moving forward, I would like to focus-in on material exploration in sculptural and installation work. My artistic expression feels stifled by 2- dimensional mediums such as printmaking and traditional work in previous years. I feel compelled to create immersive experiences that can completely transform the viewer experience with empowered grace. This can be a space where a powerfully surreal experience can happen, like a spiritual encounter. This concept is close to my heart and I would love to channel the depth of Indigenous spirituality in a contemporary setting in this immersive way. Using sound and light I want to recreate spiritual encounters in the bush. The excitement and fear combined creates a powerful sensation, as you begin to feel that deep and ancient connection to something far beyond contemporary comprehension. There is much to explore here, that I believe has not been brought to a contemporary setting in this way before. I think this approach is an exciting opportunity for myself and all who will experience this work. This residency would provide the space and resources to build works that I otherwise would make if not for lack of such to create them.

My website:

ABC Interview:  (timestamp 2:52-5:32)


About the Artists

Ilona McGuire is a proud Whadjuk, Ballardong, Yuat and Kungarakan woman. Her bloodlines run from Whadjuk boodja (land) to the Fitzmaurice region of the Northern Territory. Throughout her artistic practice, McGuire has explored a variety of skills and mediums to express her concepts including printmaking, painting and installation. More recently, McGuire has worked in drone choreography, sound design and narration. The 2021 Fremantle Biennale opened with her work, Moombaki. Moombaki saw 160 drones take flight to share Whadjuk Dreamtime stories in an immersive experience of light, movement and sound. Expression through her narration, music, design/choreography and space created a spiritual experience, site-specific and responsive to Whadjuk boodja.



Image: Ilona McGuire, Our Lives and Livelihood, 2021, Photographer Bo Wong