Our Staff

The day-to-day operation of Linden is managed by a small team of skilled and experienced staff.

DR vincent alessi

CEO + Director

Dr Vincent Alessi was appointed as the CEO + Director of the team at Linden in October 2022. Vincent has held numerous positions within public cultural institutions including as a Director and Senior Curator. He has curated exhibitions both nationally and internationally on artists as diverse as Mike Brown, Philip Hunter, Brook Andrew, Julie Rrap, Polkong Anading and the Ryan Sisters, and on topics varying from abstraction in Australian landscape painting to notions of place and identity in contemporary practice. In 2019 Vincent with colleagues Ry Haskings and Narelle Desmond founded the non-for-profit contemporary art space Conners Conners in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Vincent is committed to providing artists opportunities to present their work, both existing and new, with a focus on risk taking and experimentation. He also believes strongly in the importance of documenting, researching and contributing new knowledge through curatorial programming and academic writing.  

Vincent is also an active art historian. His research interests include the life and work of Vincent van Gogh, mid-late 19th-Century European art, 19th-Century popular graphic illustration and Australian contemporary visual art and curatorial practice. In 2020 he published the book Popular Art and the Avant-Garde: Vincent van Gogh’s Collection of Newspaper and Magazine Prints and is currently researching the influence of Charles Dickens on the work of Van Gogh.  

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Liam james

Deputy Director

lutruwita/Tasmanian born Arts Worker Liam James joined the Linden team in March 2022. Liam completed his Bachelor of Contemporary Art at the University of Tasmania in 2010, with Honours from the Australian National University in Canberra in 2012. He has worked in a range of arts oriented roles within the creative community, including Director of Sawtooth ARI (2018 - 2021), Co-Director Hobiennale Festival (2016 - 2019), Co-Chair Constance ARI (2016 - 2019). Liam has a driven focus on facilitation, platform creation, community development and models of active participation in cultural production. His facilitation focuses on propelling the voices telling the stories that need to be heard now, practices that break from oppressive traditions, and actions that take risk in thinking and idea sharing.

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Hamish Sawyer


Hamish Sawyer was appointed as the Curator of Linden New Art in May 2024. Hamish Sawyer is a curator, writer and currently Artistic Director of NorthSite Contemporary Arts in Gimuy/Cairns. His practice is informed by close collaboration with artists, with a focus on mid-career, female, First Nations, and LGBTIQ+ practices. Recent curatorial projects include ‘Anastasia Klose: For Thy Sake I In Love Am Grown’, NorthSite Contemporary Arts, 2024; ‘After Fairweather’, Caboolture Regional Art Gallery 2022;  and ‘Sandra Selig: Exploring Giant Molecules’, University of Sunshine Coast Art Gallery, and UNSW Galleries, Sydney, 2022.

Previously, Sawyer was interim Director of Outer Space, a not-for-profit contemporary arts organisation in Meanjin/Brisbane. From 2016 to 2019, Sawyer was Curator at the Caloundra Regional Gallery on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, where he organised exhibitions by artists including Alfredo & Isabel Aquilizan, Bianca Beetson, Natalya Hughes,  Laith McGregor and Elizabeth Willing; in addition to curating the group exhibition ‘Close Enough: Young Queensland Artists’, featuring works by Sam Cranstoun, D Harding, Tyza Hart and Alice Lang.

Sawyer has also worked at the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, serving as a co-curator for the 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT8). In addition, he has held positions at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) and Arts Queensland, as well as working for several commercial galleries.

Sawyer has written for publications including Art Monthly Australasia, ArtLink and VAULT. He has also contributed texts to monographs on artists Michael Cook, Laith McGregor, Sandra Selig and Marian Tubbs; and collection publications for the Rockhampton Museum of Art and The Australian Catholic University.

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Claudia Phillips

Education & Public Program Coordinator

Claudia Phillips joined the Linden team in April 2024. Born and raised in Naarm, Claudia is an artist and arts educator who started at Linden in 2024. Claudia has extensive experience working in Public Programs for galleries including Schoolhouse Studios, Seventh Gallery and Bus Projects. She is interested in the Reggio Emilia model which believes that the gallery environment is the third teacher and must be enriching and supportive for every child. Claudia holds a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from RMIT University, and a Master of Teaching from Victoria University.

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Communications & Design Coordinator

Shelley was a member of Linden’s Industry Placement Program. Joining the team as Gallery Administrator in September 2021, Shelley was further appointed as the Communications & Design Coordinator in March 2022. Formerly worked as the gallery/marketing assistant in Arc One Gallery, Shelley has a multi-faceted experience in the arts, including arts administration, stage and event management, marketing communication, translation, and customer service. She has been an active volunteer across Melbourne’s major art festivals (Melbourne International Film Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Midsumma) and cultural organisations (Melbourne Art Library, Centre For Contemporary Photography, and NotFair Art Fair). Beyond her professional life, Shelley finds passions in creative storytelling. She continues to develop her ongoing photographic project, Unknown Solitariness. Shelley holds a Master of Arts and Cultural Management from the University of Melbourne.

Cultural Backgrounds: Shelley identifies as Chinese. Her mother was born and raised in the southern part of China (Guangdong Province), and her father grew up in the northwest (Xinjiang). Hence, both Cantonese and Mandarin are Shelley’s mother tongue. Shelley came to Naarm/Melbourne in 2018 in pursuit of her Master’s Degree, while her whole family still live in Guangdong, China.

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Emilie Jeffreys

Gallery Administrator

Emilie started at Linden as part of the volunteer team for the Linden Projects Space in 2021. She was further appointed as Linden’s Gallery Administrator in 2022. Emilie's previous volunteer experience includes Exhibition Coordinator at Connection Arts Space (Dandenong) and Curatorial Representative at Intermission Gallery (Monash, Caulfield). Encouraging community connection and empowerment through art are fundamental purposes to Emilie’s endeavours within the arts industry. Emilie holds a Bachelor of Art History and Curation from Monash University (2020) and a Master of Arts Management from RMIT (2022).

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Isabel Szabo

Gallery Assistant

Isabel joined the team as gallery assistant at Linden New Art in 2022 after having participated in Linden's Industry Placement Program in 2021. While also working front of house at the Substation in Newport, a contemporary art and performance space, Isabel has gained experience working for a diverse range of events and artists in both front-facing and behind the scenes capacities. She holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in art history from the University of Melbourne, and she is currently working towards completing her Master of Art Curatorship also at the University of Melbourne.

Cultural Backgrounds:
Isabel was born in Australia. Her family migrated from Croatia, but she has many relatives who still live there. Isabel speaks English and Croatian.


Dan Petersen

Exhibition Installation Team