Professor Marie Sierra joined UNSW Australia Art & Design in July 2014 as Deputy Dean and Head of School. Previously she was the Head of School, Tasmanian College of the Arts, at the University of Tasmania. Prior to that she was at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, in roles as Head of Sculpture & Spatial Practice, and Coordinator of Higher Degree Research, both in the School of Art; and Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of the VCA. Marie also worked at RMIT in the Faculty of Art, Design and Communication, where she held Associate Dean positions and lectured in Sculpture. Her practice as an artist is focused on nature as a social construct, as was her PhD by thesis from RMIT’s School of Architecture & Design, which she completed in 2004.
Marie has held numerous solo exhibitions within Australia, and has participated in over thirty group shows in Australia, the US, and France. She has won several grants and awards, including five Australia Council Grants. She is a chief investigator on an Australian Office of Teaching and Learning (OLT) Grant, 'Developing new approaches to ethics and research integrity training through challenges posed by Creative Practice Research', awarded in 2015. She was also a chief investigator on the Australia Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities Grant (ARC LIEF) for the Design Art Australia Online (DAAO) project, a collaborative e-research tool. She received the Highly Commended Award in the 2004 Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Prize, was a finalist in the 2005-2006 McClelland Gallery Contemporary Sculpture Survey & Award exhibition. She won the major prize at the Yarra Array Sculpture Festival, hosted by the City of Melbourne in 2002.
Marie has been active in visual arts advocacy, representing the interests of practicing visual artists through roles such as Deputy Chair of Gertrude Street Contemporary Art Spaces, Chair of the Public Art Committee for the City of Melbourne, and Deputy Chair for the Cultural Affairs Committee for the City of Melbourne. Marie is also a past board member of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), and has served on committees for WestSpace and Linden art spaces. She continues to perform consulting work to local government and industry in relation to commissioning and strategic planning for public art.
Active as an arts and design writer, Marie also publishes regularly in the fields of fine art and design. Recent examples include: ‘When Waste Returns: Re-imagining “use value” in a tidal river’, Studio Research, July 2013; Iteration:Again, 13 public art projects across Tasmania, ed. David Cross, Punctum Books NY, 2013; ‘Water as Self’, Water: Image International Conference, Plymouth University, UK, July 2012; ‘Pale, Bright and Turquoise Green for White and Brown Goods’, Colour Society of Australia Biannual Conference, University of Tasmania, September 2011; ‘Expand and Collapse’, exhibition review of ‘Where are you, an you hear me?’, Horus and Deloris, Sydney, Eyeline No. 68, 2009. She also presented at the 2003 Image Text and Sound conference, and the 2004 Design Research Society International Conference Futureground. She has authored numerous essays and reviews for magazines such as Art Monthly, Agenda, Kerb and Meanjin, and was the art critic for the Herald Sun newspaper for two years.
Marie is an Executive member of the Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS); she previously served as Chair. She is also the Treasurer for the Deans and Directors of Creative Arts (DDCA), and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania.