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.

Joshua Pether

Joshua Pether

The Reckoning

The Reckoning is a decolonisation project and a spiritual quest that aims to generate a First Nations performance methodology addressing the intergenerational trauma of Australia’s colonial past and its collective amnesia. The Reckoning facilitates reflective engagement and healing through a First Nations paradigm and performance pedagogy. 

First Nations ways of being and knowing have been critical areas of resistance in the process of decolonisation. A First Nations paradigm amplifies embodied knowledge to help achieve balanced relationships with both human and non-human forms. This performance methodology will connect mind, body and spirit with ways of learning as a collective experience becoming an act of decolonisation to explore and honour First Nations ways of being and doing.

In 2021 Joshua, Helah and Janine created The Reckoning through a two-week residency at PICA. Through this development, a performance methodology was devised that utilised First Nations wisdom and knowledge whilst also taking inspiration from Butoh, a form of Japanese dance theatre developed in response to the trauma of the bombing of Hiroshima. The development involved the performers ‘reckoning’ with themselves and with geographical sites of significance to First Nations people. It also acknowledged the role of DNA in this understanding and how that has shaped who we are today. The outcome was a 7-hour durational performance. 

In this iteration of The Reckoning, Joshua, Helah and Janine will revisit their seven-hour durational odyssey performance and extend it to 16 hours. This iteration will also investigate ways of acknowledging the role of the audiences (or witnesses) as a critical element to this journey – recognising the shared experience for both the performer and the audience.  

Meet the artists: The Reckoning Lunchtime Q&A

You’re invited to yarn with the creative team of The Reckoning. Bring your lunch and your questions, and join Joshua Pether, Janine Oxenham and Helah Milroy for a Q&A conversation about making The Reckoning

Date & Time: Wednesday 12 July, 12-1pm
Location: PICA Performance Space

About the Artists

Joshua Pether is of Kalkadoon heritage and lives and works on Noongar country WA. He is an experimental performance artist and choreographer of movement, temporary ritual and imagined realities. His practice is influenced by his two cultural histories – Indigeneity and disability and how the two intersect and meet each other. As an independent artist he has performed both nationally and internationally with a career highlight of performing at PS122 in New York. In 2022 he was the first WA based artist selected as a finalist for the Kier Choreographic Award (KCA) since its inception back in 2014. He currently is a foundation artist for Art Centre Melbourne’s (ACM) Alter State Festival in partnership with Arts Access Victoria (AAV) – a biennial event that celebrates disability in Australia, Aotearoa and the Pacific region.  

Helah Milroy is a Palyku woman (East Pilbara), living in the Walyalup (Fremantle) region of Western Australia. Helah is a multidisciplinary artist whose artwork utilizes feminist and First Nations epistemologies in her exploration of embodiment, transcendence, and the intersection between existential philosophy, theology and technology. In particular, Helah’s work focuses on understanding the right relationship between human and non-human worlds. 

Janine Oxenham is a Malgana Yamatji woman from the Shark Bay area in WA. She has choreographed and performed as a freelance contemporary Indigenous dancer for numerous festivals and projects in Regional & Metro WA. Janine has a love of working with community to tell Indigenous and Non-Indigenous stories through movement. Recently, Janine has enjoyed working in theatrical and experimental movement. As one of the founding artists for The Reckoning, this is the 2nd phase of Janine’s journey delving into this experimental methodology. 


PICA sits on the unceded cultural and spiritual homelands of the Whadjuk Noongar People,  who have cared for this Country for thousands of years. The artists acknowledge Whadjuk Noongar Peoples as the custodians of this place and offer respect and admiration of Elders past and present, whose knowledge helps us understand this place in profound and meaningful ways, and whose stewardship continues to keep this place safe for us all.

The artists would like to acknowledge the following people for their invaluable input as part of  the project: Ian Wilkes, Barbara Bynder, Bobbi Henry and Josten Myburgh

The Reckoning is commissioned by BlakDance through BlakForm, with funding from Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, supported through the Australian Government’s Indigenous Languages and Arts program and is also supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.

Both creative developments for The Reckoning have been supported by the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Image: Joshua Pether, Helah Milroy & Janine Oxenham, The Reckoning, 2021, photo: Emma Fishwick