Mariam Arcilla has worked in the Australian creative sector for the past 12 years, oscillating as a writer, comms consultant, digital marketer, and curator. She currently profiles luminaries and trends in art, design, fashion, architecture, and travel—through various publications, programs, and events. After two decades of Gold Coast summers, Mariam is now based in Sydney and works freelance. She’s held full-time roles in government, galleries, start-ups, and creative agencies in Brisbane, Sydney, and the Gold Coast.
Born on Valentine’s Day to a Filipino artist and a Singaporean chief flight attendant, Mariam’s childhood zigzagged between studios, museums, and make-shift homes in four countries. Finessing her zest for art and places, today she works with artists, agencies, and institutions on projects that brighten the connections between people, cities, and sectors.
Mariam writes elastically in the areas of artswriting, content ideation, copywriting, editing, and cultural research. Her features have been published in VAULT, Art Monthly, ACCLAIM, Running Dog, Broadsheet, Neue Luxury, and Runway. She’s been commissioned to write for the State Library of Qld, City of Gold Coast, Tourism Qld, and Griffith University. She also produces multimedia content for Uber & Uber Eats, with a focus on brand identity, travel guides, food profiles, tech hacks, and industry snapshots. Mariam kickstarted her career on the Gold Coast by co-establishing and directing a creative precinct, contemporary art gallery, and artist-run program. These roles led to vivid projects in conjunction with artists, architects, philanthropists, and local business owners.
What else does Mariam do? Art voodoo. Some highlights: she was recently invited to speak alongside Laurie Anderson about ideas and storytelling at Home of the Arts. She worked with musicians and artists to produce a multi-sensorial project at Institute of Modern Art. She’s also brewed alchemic tonics for Liquid Architecture listeners to consume while attuned to music. And she curates an annual show at THE WALLS (one was reviewed here).
By age 30, Mariam was named as one of the 50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders by The Courier Mail Newspaper and featured on the White Pages Gold Coast front cover (back when phone directories graced doorsteps across Australia)—both for outstanding services to culture. Her work’s been profiled on ABC TV, The Straits Times Singapore, Sydney Morning Herald, SBS Radio, and Channel 9 News. On the fun side, she was listicled into The Art Life for her tendency to bend words. She has also logged five years in government, where she managed cultural tourism and design thinking projects; and authored digital strategies and media campaigns for the science, arts, and IT sectors—these initiatives are rolled out statewide.
In 2006, Mariam was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (First Class), after graduating with high distinctions from a Bachelor of Creative Arts, both from Griffith University. She holds a double major in Writing & Contemporary Art, with minors in Public Relations & Journalism. On a day off, you’ll find her at a gallery, exploring a new place, or dropping by someone’s art studio—some things never change. 😉
Say hi here.
Home Page image: Mariam photographed by Hannah Roche for BNE GIRLS.