Biography

With a 25-year history of art and justice practice in both Canada and Australia, Marnie’s research sits at the intersection of socially engaged art practice, participatory methodologies, and the politics of cultural measurement. Through aesthetic and dialogic forms of encounter and exchange, Marnie’s collaborative social practices bring together disparate groups of people (artists, communities, industry, local government) in dialogue to examine and affect local issues.
 

With Gunditjmara artist Vicki Couzens, Marnie has co-developed Listening to Country, Listening to Community: towards a co-created framework of people and place-based value and values for the Dandenong Creek Art Trail (2021) and The Power That We Have… Listen Up! (2020) with Jody Haines. Recent works include expanded curation projects on the aesthetics and politics of food: Bruised Food: a living laboratory with Francis Maravillas at RMIT Gallery (2019) and The Sounds of Justice are Music to My Mouth with Madeline Collie and Stephen Loo for Liquid Architecture (2021); a series of creative cartographies registering emotion in public space Five Weeks in Spring: an emotional map of Lilydale at Yarra Ranges Gallery (2018) and Pedestrian Poetics for Public Space (2020-2021) for Dancing Place: Corhanwarrabul with Tammy Wong Hulbert, and EmpowerHER: a women’s map to the city with Emily Dundas Oke and Thompson Rivers University, Canada (2018); and a book project The Social Life of Artist Residencies: connecting with people and place not your own. Marnie is currently developing To the Fallen Trees… a participatory public performance following extreme weather events in the Dandenong Ranges for the Big Anxiety Festival, with Tammy Wong Hulbert.


Marnie is Chief Investigator for the ARC Linkage Project award Ambitious and Fair: towards a sustainable visual arts sector and contributes to policy and industry standards on public art commissioning, artist residencies, and arts funding. Marnie is invited to a number of community partnerships: All The Queens Men’s Elders Dance Club (2019, 2020, 2022) with LGTBQI+ seniors, Indigenous Traditional Dance Project (2018) with ArtBack NT in Borroloola, and Ngamumu: decolonising motherhood with Lia Pa’ap’pa (2021).  

Marnie is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Art following the prestigious award of Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2017-2019) at RMIT University. Marnie teaches both practice and theory in socially-engaged art, art in public space, art history and theory, and arts management and leads a number of arts industry research partnerships. Marnie co-leads the Cultural Value Impact Network (CVIN) and the social practice theme in CAST (contemporary art and social transformation) research group. She has a PhD in Creative Arts and Cultural Policy (University of Melbourne, 2012), a Masters of Community Cultural Development (University of Melbourne, 2008) and undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Inter-media and Bachelor of Arts, Art History (University of Regina, 1996 & 1996).