MARIAM ARCILLA oscillates between creative producing, writing, copyediting, marketing, digital strategy, and cultural research. Mariam has worked in the Australian creative sector since 2006, and is currently based in Sydney. In June 2020, she joined 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art as the Engagement & Development Manager and Editor of 4A Papers.
Born to a Filipino artist and a Singaporean air hostess, Mariam spent her childhood zigzagged between studios, galleries and make-shift homes in the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong. Finessing her zest for art—and the many avenues for showcasing it—led her to team up with dynamic people and organisations to help brighten the connections between makers and the public.
Mariam migrated to Australia in 1996, and during her decade-long career in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Mariam co-founded and directed an artist-run initiative, creative precinct and contemporary art gallery, and was a consultant for various urban activation projects. Through these roles, she partnered with artists, architects, philanthropists and businesses to develop spaces and resources for the making and presenting of creative work.
Mariam has since held senior roles in creative agencies, global companies, and government, across the art, design, technology and fashion sectors. She has worked on programs and campaigns with Art Month Sydney, Institute of Modern Art, City of Gold Coast, QAGOMA, Griffith University, THE WALLS, Renew Newcastle, Museum of Brisbane, Arts Queensland, Liquid Architecture, Uber, Art Incubator, State Library of Queensland and others.
For five years, Mariam worked for state and local governments in Queensland, where she developed an interest in digital technologies. In 2016, she relocated to Sydney to delve into creative tech, generating education programs and campaigns to improve user-experience platforms on a global scale.
As a writer, Mariam’s elastic portfolio spans content ideation, creative writing, copywriting/editing, marketing content, social media copy and UX writing. Her text appears in museum publications, institutional websites and social platforms, while her artswriting is published in VAULT, Running Dog, Art Collector, Runway, Broadsheet, Acclaim, RealTime and others. Mariam’s background in arts business led her to manage STATION, a commercial gallery in Sydney and Melbourne, where she helped establish the Sydney business in 2019 and delivered exhibitions until its temporary closure during covid-19 regulations. Adapting to the issues adjacent to the global pandemic, Mariam is also the producer and host of the Interno podcast, supported by the Institute of Modern Art.
By age 30, Mariam was included in The Courier Mail’s 50 Best & Brightest Queenslanders and received a Volunteering Award from the Queensland Government for pro-bono contributions to the culture sector. Her work has been covered in The Straits Times Singapore, Sydney Morning Herald, Broadsheet, SBS Radio, ABC TV, and Channel 9 News.
In a post-covid climate, Mariam would normally be pouncing into a museum or breaking bread in an artist’s studio. She also cooks rice-based meals most nights, using her grandmother’s recipe.
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Image credit: Eloise Fuss
I’d like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation—the traditional owners of the Land upon which I live and create work. I pay my respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. May we always recognise the enduring connections between First Nations people and their land, water and culture.