MADA graduates dominate 2014 Linden Art Prize

Debbie Symons work

The artwork by Debbie Symons.

Monash University PhD graduate Debbie Symons received third prize in the inaugural 2014 Linden Art Prize, awarded by Lord Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Cr Amanda Stevens.

Debbie completed her studio-based PhD at Monash in 2013 and will now have her own commercial gallery exhibition at MARS in 2015.

The University’s Faculty of Art Design & Architecture (MADA), was proud to have a mixture of Masters and PhD students make up the talented five finalists from MADA.

Finalists included sculptor Kent Wilson, video installation artist Roberta Joy Rich, mixed-media artist Kiron Robinson, performance and video artist Nina Ross.

The Linden Art Prize has been created specifically to support the emerging career of Australian contemporary artists. The winning artist Eric Demetriou and second prize artist Emma Hamilton received $10,000 and $2000 respectively, both received a Linden Studio for 12 months and a tailored mentoring program to suit their individual practice

Melbourne-based curators David Haggar and Kirsten Rann shortlisted the finalists from a cohort of 2013 graduating Masters and PhD students, from a range of top Victorian universities.

The winners were selected by judges Kirsten Paisley, Director Shepparton Art Museum; Lesley Alway, Director Asialink Arts; and Dr Shaune Lakin, Director of the Monash Gallery of Art.

To be shortlisted, the finalists had to present their final work from a PhD or Masters project, along with up to three supporting works from their practice.

As a practice-based school with a high quality program of postgraduate research degrees, MADA was well placed to be heavily represented at this illustrious award ceremony. Preparing graduates to be leaders in the professional art world is one of MADA’s first priorities. The higher degrees by research offer students regular opportunities to interact with inspiring practitioners and the broader creative community to further their career while undertaking a period of sustained studio-based inquiry through a masters or PhD program.

Works from all 10 finalists will be on display at the Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts in St Kilda from 20 February until 30 March 2014.