PICA Salon 2016 artists examine Radical Ecologies


Andrew Varano. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Andrew Varano. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

PICA Salon 2016 – Radical Ecologies is a complex exhibition featuring mainly WA artists examining the ecological future and environmental crisis.

“The artists are taking quite a lot of different approaches but many seem to be more concerned with the cultural shifts we need to take in order to prepare for an ecological crisis,” Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts acting curator Andrew Varano said.

“Quite a lot are looking at how our body and culture relates to the environment as well.”

Varano said former PICA curator Leigh Robb, who is now Art Gallery of South Australia contemporary arts curator, chose the 18 exhibiting artists for their ongoing observations on the environment.

Robb invited Varano to take over the exhibition on her departure.

“It’s been an interesting process because most of the works have been created specifically for the show,” he said.

“It wasn’t works selected, it was more like the premise was given to the artists and they generated a work in response to that; you pose a set of questions to the artist and wait to see what they come back with.”

Varano said many of the works were experimental and, along with drawing and sculpture, several had a strong conceptual basis.

“We have artist Mike Bianco from Fremantle who works with the relationship between humans and bees,” he said.

“Even in terms of traditional media, he’s done a painting laced with bee pheromones that’s meant to attract bees.

“Traditional mediums have been rethought or extended a little bit; it’s eclectic and experimental.”

Radical Ecologies launches with PICA Salon Vernissage, the flagship event for PICA’s ART1000 donor program, on Saturday, July 30.

The exhibition continues July 31 to September 4.