Amy Spiers is an artist, curator, writer and researcher living and working on the unceded Country of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung peoples in Narrm (Melbourne, Australia). Amy is currently a Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at RMIT School of Art (2022-24), where she is engaged in research that explores
the capacities of public and socially engaged art to
critique and positively transform present society, and how such art practices might generatively address difficult colonial histories and social relations
between Indigenous and settler peoples in Australia.
Amy completed a Master of Fine Art in 2011 and a PhD in 2018 at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne. The major artistic output of her PhD was #MirandaMustGo (2017), an artistic campaign that called for settlers to end habitual associations at Hanging Rock, Central Victoria with the figure of Miranda, and the fiction of vanished white schoolgirls derived from Joan Lindsay’s novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, and to instead address real Indigenous losses and traumas at the site. This project became the subject of much national and international media and public attention. Her practice-based PhD was awarded with no amendments from both examiners, and described by examiner Dr Marina Vishmidt of Goldsmiths, University of London, as “a superlative practice-based thesis” and the other examiner, Dr Lucas Ihlein of University of Wollongong, as “an exemplary work of practice-based research”.
Amy’s socially engaged, critical art practice focuses on the creation of live performances, multi-artform installations and conceptual artworks for both site-specific and gallery contexts. Her solo and collaborative artworks aim to prompt questions and debate about present society particularly about the gaps and silences in public discourse where difficult histories and social tensions are overlooked or smoothed over. Amy has presented art projects across Australia and internationally, including at Fremantle Arts Centre, Monash University Museum of Art (Melbourne), the Museum für Neue Kunst (Freiburg), MONA FOMA (Hobart) and the 2015 Vienna Biennale.
As an arts writer and researcher, Amy has published work in academic journals, exhibition catalogues and art magazines, including writing for Artlink, Public Art Dialogue, and the Journal of Arts and Communities, as well as contributing to significant anthologies on socially engaged and public art practice such as Civic Actions: Artists’ Practices Beyond the Museum (Museum of Contemporary Art 2017), Engaging Publics, Public Engagement (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki) and The Questions We Ask Together (Open Engagment In Print 2015). More recently, Amy co-edited Let's Go Outside: Art in Public with Charlotte Day and Professor Callum Morton for Monash University Museum of Art (Monash University Publishing 2022) and co-authored the book, Art/Work: Social Enterprise, Young Creatives & the Forces of Marginalisation, with Associate Professor Grace McQuilten, Associate Professor Kim Humphery and Professor Peter Kelly (Palgrave Pivot, forthcoming 2022).
Amy also works as a curator and producer of exhibitions and public programs including co-curating with Grace McQuilten Takeover at Parliament Steps for ACCA’s Who’s Afraid of Public Space? program (2022) which involved a unique collaboration with diverse emerging artists from youth arts organisations Outer Urban Projects, The Social Studio and Youthworx. She also co-convened the online symposium Counter-monuments: Indigenous settler relations in Australian contemporary art and memorial practices with Genevieve Grieves that was hosted by ACCA in 2021. She is currently co-editing a book on Indigenous settler relations and counter-monument practices in Australia with Genevieve Grieves for Springer (forthcoming 2023).
︎ RMIT Staff Profile