Inaugural Judy Wheeler Commission awarded to Elizabeth Willing

Brisbane-based artist sets the standard for a decade of annual commissions at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

Congratulations are in order for Meanjin/Brisbane-based artist Elizabeth Willing, who has taken out the inaugural $30,000 Judy Wheeler Commission by Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) for 2023.

Supported by a $300,000 gift from the Simpson family, the Judy Wheeler Commission will for the next 10 years fund an annual site-specific work by an Australian-based visual artist that responds to the architecture and history of PICA’s building and site.

Reflecting on her ongoing investigations into food and hospitality, Willing’s site-specific work performs the “welcome of hospitality”. The large-scale textile work delves into the Perth locale’s olfactory and sensory offerings – such as the nearby Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River), botanic gardens, and wine region – and responds to PICA’s entrance, defining how visitors engage with the space.

“My artwork for the Wheeler Commission is closely linked to the architecture and sensory experience of the site, while remaining anchored in my ongoing investigations of hospitality,” said Willing. “Visitors who cross this threshold are choosing to take in and digest uncommon experiences.”

The inaugural commission launches in February 2023 and will remain in place for a one-year period.

Elizabeth Willing is represented by Tolarno Galleries, Naarm/Melbourne.

This article was posted 25 July 2022.

Image: Elizabeth Willing; courtesy: Museum of Brisbane; photo: David Kelly.

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