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media release: pvi moves to pica

5 December 2023

a homecoming 25 years in the making

pvi has been announced as Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA)’s inaugural long-term company in residence (2024-2026), coinciding with the group’s 25 year anniversary.

Chief executive artist and pvi co-founder Kelli McCluskey said the return to PICA and the inner city – where the group’s created and presented countless works – marks a kind of homecoming for which they are “really thrilled”.

“PICA has been absolutely pivotal in championing contemporary performance practice in Boorloo and beyond,” said McCluskey, adding “our own development as an experimental art group has grown and evolved as a direct result of PICA’s support over the past two decades”.
It was, after all, a short performance as part of PICA’s ‘Putting on an Act’ in the late 1990s that lead to co-founders McCLuskey and Steve Bull (then recently arrived from the UK) collaborating with WA artists Chris Williams, James McCluskey and Kate Neylon – who would go on to join them in the formation of pvi.

“Being roomies with PICA will mean we have more opportunities to connect with visiting artists, audiences, gallery visitors, shows and exhibitions and make ourselves useful on the ground,” said McCluskey.

‘On the ground’, in terms of creative activity, pvi has lots of their distinct brand of “good trouble-making” planned.

The collective is currently developing new work ‘hummm’ – an outdoor adventure for audiences to sign up as signal chasers, tasked with tracking down and decoding sonic distress signals from deep beneath the earth’s core; and ‘booster’ which is a social sci-fi artwork unpacking the activist dilemma at the peak of the climate emergency.

In the new year, pvi will also welcome a new company member to the creative team thanks to funding from the ArtsPay Foundation.
PICA’s Director/CEO Hannah Matthews said the organisation is thrilled to welcome pvi into their iconic heritage building in Perth Cultural Centre as occupants of Studio 1, inaugurating PICA’s Company-in-Residence program.

“In 2024 PICA remains dedicated to sharing space and nurturing practice through a reimagined and expanded studio and creative development program,” said Matthews.

“This new three-year residency makes space at PICA for an arts company or organisation, inviting solidarity and sector collaboration by sharing resources, ideas and spaces.”

pvi’s Kelli McCluskey concluded: “Perhaps most significantly, being in-residence means the process of making contemporary artwork is being recognised and supported within the arts institution itself. The creative labour that leads to a new artwork has a place to ground itself. This is a powerful paradigm shift that deepens the relationship between artist and institution and we salute PICA for leading the charge here in Boorloo.”

Find out more at or visit pvi at PICA, 51 James Street Northbridge.

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