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Correlation between colonisation, class and obesity explored at Monash University’s 2021 graduate show

Correlation between colonisation, class and obesity explored at Monash University’s 2021 graduate show


The ways in which social systems impact a local fish and chip shop took home top prize at Monash University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture’s 2021 graduate show, MADA Now.

The year’s Daniel Dorall prize for the highest achieving student was awarded to Erin Hallyburton for her sculptural work examining the correlation between colonisation, class and obesity and the Caulfield Fish and Chip shop

Hallyburton used waste sunflower oil to create two pieces that question the conceptual and material limits of the body and how these limits manifest in specific sites – in this case, an inner city takeaway.  

Erin Hallyburton, Fish and Chip Scented Soap

The year’s other big winner was Alexis Kanatsios, who received the Damian Bertoli Memorial Award for his work using form to displace the viewer within the space.

Megan Kamei picked up the Edith Rose Memorial Award for her vibrant, multi-sensory textile experience.

Alexis Kanatsios, Sequence 1

MADA Now showcases the work of over 750 graduating artists, curators, designers and architects in an online exhibition.

A physical exhibition is also open at the university’s Caulfield campus until 3 December.

Megan Kamai, Asobi, detail of installation

Other outstanding Architecture, Urban Planning, Design, Curating and Fine Art students featured include a futuristic temple design by Master of Architecture graduate Dynuk Ethan Devamulla.

The project explores an alternate reality in Melbourne within the time frame of 2025 and 2060 where a corporation, Wick3d PPL, has rejuvenated a site within Melbourne once housing a peace pagoda by converting the original temple into a set of commercial spaces for the general public and the Melburnian Buddhist community.

The project sheds light on the problematic nature of commodifying traditional practices without acknowledging the communities to which these practices belong.

Dynuk Ethan Devamulla, Mystical East – Elevations

Celebrating the next generation of Melbourne’s creative community is particularly important this year as the sector has faced ongoing uncertainty through extended lockdowns.  

Fine Art interim head of department Spiros Panigirakis says this year’s cohort should be commended for its resilience and adaptability over the past two years.

Lily Xilai Li, The Hidden Hybrids

“What a year and what an astounding response from our fine arts community. With too many obstacles to note, students practising across many fields, studios and occupations, made art matter.”

The Dean of the Faculty Professor Shane Murray also highlighted the importance of the 2021 show after two years of uncertainty.

“I am immensely proud of our staff and of the remarkable creative community we have here at MADA,” he says. 

“These students have achieved amazing results through an incredibly challenging period, and our entire show is full of energy and provocation. 

“It demonstrates that the creative sector is in great hands.”

Amelda Norsworthy, Allevia

Check out the MADA Now online exhibition at monash.edu/mada/now

Earlier this month, ADR looked at ten graduate architecture projects from the University of Melbourne’s MSDx Summer 2021 exhibition.

Lead image: Mystical East – Graphics by Dynuk Ethan Devamulla.


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