Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture 2023

Maree Clarke

Maree Clarke is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung woman who grew up in northwest Victoria, mainly in Mildura, on the banks of the Murray River. Maree has been a practicing artist living and working in Melbourne for the last three decades. She has been instrumental in the reclamation of southeast Australian Aboriginal art practices, reviving elements of Aboriginal culture that were lost – or lying dormant – over the period of colonisation, as well as a leader in nurturing and promoting the diversity of contemporary southeast Aboriginal artists.

The artist’s continuing desire to affirm and reconnect with cultural heritage objects and items held in Museum collections has seen a revivification of the traditional possum skin cloaks, together with the production of contemporary designs of organic kangaroo teeth necklaces, 3D printed 18kg plated kangaroo teeth, materials for body adornments, river reed necklaces and echidna quills and glass eel traps.

Photo by Eugene Highland

Visit website

Kent Morris

Kent Morris is a Barkindji artist living on Yalukit Willam Country in Naarm/Melbourne. Through a variety of three-dimensional and digital processes, Kent engages audiences by manipulating the built environment, technology and nature into new forms that reflect Indigenous knowledge systems reshaping western frameworks, exploring complex histories and First Nations cultural continuity since time immemorial.

One of the central motivations for Kent’s work is to provide a dedicated and considered space for the exchange of stories, histories, images and insights and to give visual representation to that which is often unseen. His art practice explores identity, connection to place and the continuing evolution of cultural practices whilst engaging audiences to question long held frames of reference.

The interaction of native birds with the built environment has evolved to become a key theme of the artist’s work; the interaction explores ideas of resilience, adaption, continuity, and ongoing disruptions to ecological systems.

Visit website

Vipoo Srivilasa

Vipoo Srivilasa is an art world globetrotter! First stop: Bangkok, where he earned his ceramic art degree and worked as a pot plants designer for two years. In 1995, Australia beckoned for postgraduate studies—because who can resist koalas and kangaroos? He landed at Monash’s Frankston campus, lured by ocean views only to learn Aussie waters are chillier than Koh Samui’s waters!

Next, it was Hobart where he completed his Master’s in ceramics. His downtime? Hobart Dock, spying on seahorses, stingrays, and starfish as they did their daily activities. Grad cap thrown, he zoomed to Adelaide to kickstart his full-time artist life at the Jam Factory. But Melbourne beckoned him back in 2000, leading to the birth of his own art studio, Clay Lab, in 2016. Vipoo respectfully acknowledges that his artistic voyage unfolds on the traditional lands of Indigenous Australians.

Photo by Matthew Stanton

Visit website

Joy Zhou

Joy Zhou is a trans-disciplinary artist and design practitioner based in Naarm/Melbourne. Their practice generates from embodied experiences and communicates complex intersectional relations. Expanding from their background in interior design, Joy works with things immediately around her, including sonic, graphic, performative, spatial and socially-engaged practices. Joy often interrogates norms with queering gestures and aim to amplify unnoticed existence in everyday life. These gestures unfold as encounters and events, that draw upon the people, their interrelation with space and the overlapping contexts.

Joy has led and produced the public art project, A Creek Chat, a temporary sound based intervention, aiming to amplify the underground waterway in the Melbourne CBD from a visitor’s perspective, supported by the City of Melbourne and the Victoria Government. The moving image and concrete poetry work A Creek Story, commissioned by Liquid Architecture, is published on their Disclaimer journal.

Photo by Murray Enders

Visit website