9th February – 19th April

PICA’s Summer exhibitions offer digital and immersive arts experiences

Thunderhead  +  Chalkroom  +  Hudson Valley Ruins

PICA’s Summer Exhibitions feature three diverse screen and sound based works created by Australian and international artists leading in these fields.

Immersive screen, virtual reality and gaming inspired experiences occupy the PICA galleries from 9 February – 19 April with works by Sydney-based Tina Havelock Stevens (Thunderhead); internationally renowned artist and musician Laurie Anderson and Taiwanese new media artist Hsin-Chien Huang (Chalkroom) and New York City’s Jacky Connolly (Hudson Valley Ruins).

These exhibitions will open on Saturday 8 February at 5pm, with Tina Havelock Stevens in conversation with prominent broadcaster and writer Lauren Carroll Harris (The Guardian, Radio National), followed by an opening address by the Hon. David Templeman MLA, Minister for Local Government, Heritage, Culture and the Arts.

The opening weekend will conclude with a free performance by Tina Havelock Stevens (drums) and composer Liberty Kerr (guitar), who have collaborated since the late eighties, when they were part of a very rare breed of inner-city Sydney post-punk female musicians. As a duo, Havelock Stevens and Kerr are liberated by spontaneous composition. Using their sonic instincts they interact, subtly building an evolving sound scape that echoes the looping vision of a meteorological supercell. During this two-hour improvised performance from 5-7pm on Sunday 9 February the duo will present a live score that channels the unbound energy of Havelock Stevens’ monumental video work, Thunderhead.

Tina Havelock Stevens has emerged as a leading figure in contemporary Australian video and performance. Her background as a documentary filmmaker and drummer from the post-punk music scene has a direct influence on her practice where she works predominantly in video, music, sound, experimental documentary and performance.

Havelock Stevens’ moving image works depict emotional and physical landscapes and dwell on sites that are often empty or abandoned. Her sensibilities as a filmmaker and a musician create suspended moments that speak of survival and fragility. Her solo exhibition Thunderhead offers a series of video works accompanied by improvised sound scores – sometimes recorded, sometimes performed live. These visceral installations act as a channel for emotions and histories that reside in built and natural landscapes.

Created by pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson and Taiwanese new media artist Hsin-Chien Huang, Chalkroom is a virtual reality (VR) experience unlike any other.

Enter an ordinarily white gallery space to find the walls filled with gestural drawings, scrawled across all surfaces, reaching the ceiling. Don a virtual reality headset and step deeper into an immersive world, in which you journey through an enormous structure made of words, drawings and stories. Once you enter this realm you are free to roam and fly. Words sail through the air. They fall into dust. They form and reform.

Rendered from hand-written text, gestures and chalk marks, this is a world where the power and impression of words, lyrics, stories and text reigns. Allow yourself to roam through the corridors and pathways of words, accompanied by Laurie Anderson’s unmistakable and indelible voice. There will be no pre-bookings for Chalkroom to allow as many visitors as possible to experience this memorable VR work.

Hudson Valley Ruins is a short narrative film produced entirely in the computer game The Sims 3. Using the conventions of the game, in which players simulate the lives of a modern family, Jacky Connolly has created a complete set, narrative and cast of characters.

Hudson Valley Ruins tracks the unsettling experiences of two young female characters as they navigate the banal, tense and quietly disturbing world of suburban Upstate New York. Combining conventions of gothic horror with the domestic melodrama, Connolly has created a noir film for the digital era.

PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard said: “We are thrilled to be offering a suite of new experiences for our audiences, created by some of the most compelling artists of our time. PICA will become a digital playground during Perth Festival, providing out of body experiences, moments of quiet reflection, and narratives that are strangely familiar.”

For those looking for after work arts experiences, PICA After Dark returns from 5-8pm on Fridays 14, 21 and 28 February, allowing visitors extended hours to enjoy the exhibitions, including Chalkroom.

Throughout the exhibition period, a Chalkroom-inspired art activity will be available in the PICA Reading Room for all ages to enjoy. This magnetic wall of words will be a space for reflection and play, in collaboration with Perth Festival and with support from the City of Perth and Wesfarmers Arts.


Ground Floor Gallery



First Floor Gallery

Free | no bookings | walk-ins only



Screen Space



Presented in association with Perth Festival

Gallery hours: 10am – 5pm, Tuesday to Friday

PICA After Dark: 5-8pm, Fridays 14, 21 & 28 February

More information here