• Linden Art Prize

    Linden Art Prize

    Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts is pleased to announce the ten finalists for the inaugural Linden Art Prize:

    Eric Demetriou, Simon Finn, Emma Hamilton, Kerry Leonard, Kasia Lynch, Roberta Joy Rich, Kiron Robinson, Nina Ross, Debbie Symons, Kent Wilson.


    The Linden Art Prize is a non-acquisitive contemporary art award established for artists graduating from a Masters degree or PhD in 2013 from a Victorian University. Created to celebrate excellence and nurture a new generation of visual artists, the award will be judged by Kirsten Paisley, Director Shepparton Art Museum, Lesley Alway, Director Asialink Arts and Dr Shaune Lakin, Director Monash Gallery of Art.


    First prize, the Linden Art Prize, will include $10,000 cash, a rent free studio at Linden for twelve months, an exhibition in the 2015 Linden Innovators Program and tailored mentoring for twelve months.


    Second prize, the Linden Board Encouragement Award, will consist of $2,000 cash, a rent free studio at Linden for twelve months and tailored mentoring for twelve months.


    Third prize, the [MARS] Award, [MARS] gallery will select one finalist to hold a commercial exhibition with them in 2015.


    The Linden Art Prize exhibition 21 February to 30 March 2014 will showcase the work of the ten shortlisted finalists. The winners will be announced on Thursday 20 February 6-8pm at the opening night celebration.


    Linden Director Melinda Martin is "thrilled to be providing this significant support to contemporary Melbourne artists, to enable them to grow their practice and benefit from the experience and insights of generous mentors from the vibrant Melbourne arts industry".



    The Artists

    Eric Demetriou

    The work Knuckle Song (feed a piano through a woodchipper), 2013 is from a body of work created for Demetriou's Masters project Noise and Mischief. For the artist 'the application of noise is partnered with a mischievous demeanour to incite a thrill-seeking experience that flirts with trouble and danger through outcomes of kinetic sound-based sculpture.'

    Eric Demetriou completed a Masters of Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2013. He has shown at Mildura Palimpsest #9, Contemporary Art Space Tasmania (CAST), Sawtooth ARI, Bus Projects, Blindside, Gertrude Contemporary and The Substation. As a performer he has performed in venues and events such as The MCA Art Bar, Melbourne Art Centre, The Avoca Project, West Space, The International Noise Conference, Boogie Festival and The University of Melbourne Car-Park.


    Simon Finn

    Through the works Simulant, 2013 and Downward Spiral, 2013 Simon Finn explores the relationship between artist, environment and technology. Using both sculpture and work on paper he investigates the differences between represented and real environments and the instability of digital depictions in an age of image saturation.

    Simon Finn completed a Masters of Fine Art (Research) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2013 and studied Electronic Design and Interactive Media at Swinburne University. He has also studied at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where he received First Class Honors in Fine Art. He has exhibited widely in Melbourne, recently in solo exhibitions at Fehily Contemporary, MOANA Project Space and Beam Contemporary Art Space and in group exhibitions at The Substation, Darkhorse Experiment, Bett Gallery and C3 Contemporary. His work will be shown overseas in Europe and Asia this year. He is the recipient of a number of awards, most recently the NotFair's Howard Arkley Award. He is represented by Fehily Contemporary in Melbourne. www.simonfinn.info


    Emma Hamilton

    Emma Hamilton's delicate sculptural work Salt Level, 2013 reflects an ongoing interest in the relationship between sculpture and photography. Using the landscapes of dry salt lakes she examines the mirror image, the horizon line and the concept of 'visual touching'.

    Emma Hamilton completed a Masters of Fine Art (Research) at the Victorian College of the Arts in 2013. In July Emma will undertake a three-month Australia Council residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2014 Hamilton  will exhibit in Sydney as part of SafARI, an unofficial fringe event to the Sydney Biennale, as well as Bus and Blindside in Melbourne. Emma has previously exhibited in Melbourne, Sydney, Launceston, Mildura and Nantes (France). http://www.emmahamilton.com.au/


    Kerry Leonard

    Kerry Leonard's work Never Seen, 2013 explores personal notions of identity and beauty. By positioning the viewer as the object, the artist asks them to consider themselves or their 'self'. Never Seen is one of four spatial works in the collection Eyes of the Beholder in which Leonard 'seeks to subvert traditional perceptions and expectations of identity.'

    Kerry Leonard completed his Masters of Contemporary Art at Melbourne University (VCA and MCM) in 2013. He has studied Issues in Contemporary Art at Curtin University (2011) and has a Bachelor of Fine Art, Sculpture from the Victorian College of the Arts. He began his career as a sculptor and then moved to a successful professional photography practice, after a break for medical reasons he embarked on his current spatial practice. www.kerryleonard.com.au


    Kasia Lynch

    Kasia Lynch's work manifests as a combination of sculpture, installation and image making. In the floor based sculpture Metaphysical multi-court, 2013 she explores the relationships between bodies, objects and space in the sub-cultural space of the gymnasium. Through fetishizing elements of game play and ritual, her work often appears as an undefined invitation to action, one that is at once familiar and yet unknown.

    Kasia Lynch graduated with Master of Arts from RMIT University in 2013 and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Sculpture (First Class Honours) from RMIT University. She has exhibited in Melbourne, most recently at the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, Conduit Arts and First Site Gallery. www.kasialynch.com


    Roberta Joy Rich

    Roberta Joy Rich's practice engages with notions of 'authentic' identity construction in contemporary culture. Rich, drawing on her South African and Australian identity, responds to representation and conceptions of 'race' with satire and humour in her video and installation projects. Her work Ek is in 'n Hoek Vasgekeur/I'm Cornered, 2013 re-stages Adrian Piper's video installation Cornered (1988) to re-visit questions, surrounding definitions of 'race' and the language of 'race'.

    Roberta Joy Rich completed a Masters of Fine Art from Monash University in 2013. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (First Class Honours) from Monash University. Rich has exhibited at Kings ARI, Blindside, No Vacancy and Trocadero Art Space and has recently completed a residency in Cape Town, South Africa. www.robertajoyrich.com.au


    Kiron Robinson

    In the two works, any worries/many worries, 2010 and Used Hours/Wasted Hours, 2013, Kiron Robinson uses a range of mediums to investigate ideas of doubt, faith and failure. He seeks to create an anxiety between what a material is and what it is not, leading to a paradox in the work which unravels as it constructs.

    Kiron Robinson completed a PhD (Fine Art) from Monash University in 2013. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent exhibitions at Kurumuya  Museum, Japan; Pallas Project, Dublin; Gippsland Regional Art Gallery, Sale; Sarah Scout, Melbourne; Institute of Contemporary Art, Sydney; NUS, Singapore; West Space, Melbourne; Gertrude Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne and Green Papaya Art Space, Manila. He is represented by Sarah Scout, Melbourne. www.kironrobinson.com


    Nina Ross

    Nina Ross's work Untitled #1 (Fish), 2011, a self-portrait performance, draws on her experiences of living in Norwary and learning Norwegian to investigate the interpretation and appropriation of words. Working predominantly with video, performance and photography Ross' work explores language acquisition in a globalised world.

    Nina Ross completed a Master of Fine Art (Research) from Monash University in 2013, and holds an Honours Degree Fine Art (Photography) and a Bachelor of Arts (Media Arts) from RMIT University. She has exhibited nationally and internationally including One Night Only- Oslo, Experimenta Speak to me 5th International Biennial of Media Art, Screen space, Firstdraft, Queensland Centre for Photography, and was shortlisted for The Substation Art Prize (2012). www.ninaross.com.au


    Debbie Symons

    Debbie Symons' work World Species Market, 2012 was completed during her PhD research titled Anthropocentrism, Endangered Species and the Environmental Dilemma. Focussing on two central themes within humanity's ecological conundrum: the precarious position of non-human species and the ties between environmental degradation and free market capitalism, the work seeks to sensitise a desensitised society, presenting environmental data through a contemporary art practice.

    Debbie Symons completed a PhD in Fine Art (Drawing) from Monash University in 2013. She has exhibited internationally, through the International Urban Screen Association and nationally; Urban Screen, Federation Square, RMIT Gallery, Project Space RMIT, Albury Digital Outdoor Gallery, Craft Victoria, Trocadero Art Space, Shifted Gallery, c3 Contemporary Art Space, Monash University Faculty Gallery and The Substation. She has worked with scientific organisations such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species to facilitate the statistical data pertaining to her works. www.debbiesymons.com.au


    Kent Wilson

    Kent Wilson uses the ornamental plant to explore systems and networks in his sculptural practice. In his work Rhythm Code, 2013 he uses the domestic plant to investigate intimate relationships. Borrowing houseplants from his network of friends and family he explores ideas concerning the human relationship to plants and the nature of nurturing.

    Kent Wilson graduated with a PhD in Fine Art from Monash University in 2013. He also holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Honours) from Monash University. His work has shown at c3 Contemporary Art Space, Platform Art Spaces, Seventh Gallery, McClelland Gallery, Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Anna Pappas Gallery and many more locations including Adelaide and Berlin. He is the assistant curator at Town Hall Gallery and runs an arts website, 'the subMachine'. www.kentwilson.net


    The Linden Art Prize

    Friday 21 February - Sunday 30 March 2014

    Opening night celebration and prizes announced Thursday 20 February 6-8pm


    Judges: Kirsten Paisley, Director Shepparton Art Museum,

    Lesley Alway, Director Asialink Arts

    Dr Shaune Lakin, Director Monash Gallery of Art


    The three prize winners will be announced by the Lord Mayor of the City of Port Phillip, Cr Amanda Stevens on the opening night.


    For information, images or to arrange an interview with an artist, please contact

    Lizzie Baikie E: lizzie@lindenarts.org T: 03 9534 0099


  • A message from the Board, 10 September 2013

    The Board of Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts is extremely concerned that charges have been laid against Paul Yore.


    The decision to charge an artist for work exhibited in a gallery raises real questions about censorship and the freedom of artistic expression. We believe that it is the role of contemporary art to challenge assumptions and inspire robust debate.


    Paul Yore is an emerging artist who studied painting at Monash University. Paul Yore has exhibited in several solo and group shows in public galleries and artist run spaces including Heide Museum of Modern Art, Federation Square, The Substation, Gertrude Contemporary, Westspace, and Trocadero Art Space. He also featured in Gertrude Contemporaries Melbourne Art Fair Project Room in 2012.


    As this matter will be before the courts, we cannot comment on the substance of the case. Our thoughts are with Paul.



    Linden Board of Management Inc


  • Paul Yore

    A letter from the Chair

    Everything is f#@ked. Now what?

    We are deeply concerned about the events of recent weeks and the impact of these events on Paul Yore and the other artists involved in the Like Mike - Now What?? exhibition.

    We acknowledge that questions have been asked about our response to this matter and are acutely aware of the concerns of the community and of those who have had difficulty understanding our decision to temporarily close the gallery and seek classification for the work. These decisions were not taken lightly and were debated vigorously, with all points of view considered. Ultimately, the decision was made to temporarily close the Gallery while we worked through the complex issues which included obtaining greater clarity on the legal issues faced by Paul and the Centre and the substance of the police concerns, practical and moral rights considerations in keeping an incomplete exhibition on show with works removed by police without the artists' consent and safety and wellbeing concerns for our staff and visitors. Classification in this case serves to notify visitors of the nature of the work in terms that are well understood in the broader community, and enables us to continue to exhibit the works in the manner intended by the artist and the Gallery.

    As it became clearer that the police investigation and the classification process were going to take longer than we hoped, we became increasingly uncomfortable with the gallery being closed. As such, and on the basis that the works of the other artists, namely Fergus Binns, Trevelyan Clay & Kate Smith, Jan Lucas, Simon Pericich, Nick Selenitsch & Alex Selenitsch were not in question, the gallery reopened on Tuesday 11 June 2013.

    Yesterday, we were notified by the Australian Classification Board that elements of the work by Paul Yore are considered Classification 1 - Restricted. This means that the work is considered to contain adult content and should be restricted to people 18 years and over. We are working through what this means in practical terms and will continue to consult with all the artists and our stakeholders when making decisions about how best to proceed. It is important to note that we understand no charges have been laid against Paul and we hope this will remain the case.  The police seized a number of items from Paul's installation at the gallery and classification was sought on Paul's work in its altered form.

    We hope it can be appreciated that this has been a complex matter, where we have tried to find the right balance in managing our artistic, legal and moral responsibilities. Indeed, some observers have considered that we haven't always got this balance right. However, we can assure everyone that while it may not always be evident externally, we have been working tirelessly to resolve all the issues in a timely and appropriate way as well as manage the concerns of all the artists and our stakeholders.

    It's crucial that the issues raised about Paul's work are viewed in the context of the exhibition and the intent of his work. Like Mike - Now What?? pays homage to legendary Australian artist Mike Brown his energy and restlessness, his use of materials and his intuitive processes. From periods of pornographic collage, political satire and commentary, Mike Brown challenged art audiences with his "anything goes" approach to art making and exhibition. The artists selected for the exhibition have in some way been influenced by Mike or are working in a similar mode. The exhibition was intended to celebrate the legacy of an acclaimed and controversial artist, who pushed boundaries as contemporary art often does.

    As Paul has stated, the intent behind his work is to confront fear, boredom, confusion and apathy.  Like Mike Brown, Paul's work is conversational, confrontational and uncompromising.

    Linden Centre for Contemporary Art plays an important role in the community as a vibrant, evolving place for the creation and presentation of contemporary art; a place where audiences are encouraged to enjoy and support contemporary art and where the artist's own vision is unlimited. Our stated mission is to support and promote contemporary art by creating opportunities for artists to present innovative and uncompromising art and presenting art that encourages risk. The exhibition is consistent with our mission.

    The exhibition has re-opened and we will be extending our opening hours in the hope that as many people as possible will come and see this amazing exhibition. We hope that you have the opportunity to come and take a look and make your own assessment about the artistic merit of the work.

    Once all the controversy surrounding the exhibition has passed over, which we sincerely hope will be very soon, we very much look forward to participating in a robust discussion with the community and artists about the issues of censorship and the freedom of artistic expression.

    Thank you for your continued support.

    Sue Foley,
    Linden Board of Management Inc