Phip Murray


History/Theory Coordinator


Phip Murray is a part-time academic within RMIT’s Interior Design program as well as an experienced curator, arts administrator, writer, editor, and publisher.

Phip was Director of West Space from 2008–2012 and, prior to that, the Visual Arts/New Media Associate Producer for the Next Wave Festival. Phip has a particular interest in interdisciplinary and time-based arts practices, and has curated projects such as Time Has Come Today, a program exploring sound, moving image and performance projects (West Space, 2012) and Tyger, Tyger, a new commissions series including projects by Philip Brophy, Constanze Zikos, David Chesworth, and Juan Davila (West Space, 2011-2012).

Phip also works as a freelance arts administrator, such as a recent roles as Program Curator for the Give it up for Margaret! festival (May, 2014), which explored the current status of arts philanthropy on the centenary of the birth of arts philanthropist Margaret Lawrence. Phip created a series of public forums for the festival at The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas, VCA and the NGV, and she also held a series of ‘action research’ sessions, designed to explore current issues and new thinking in arts philanthropy.

Phip also writes often about art and design. Key projects include a series of books commissioned by the NGV, including The NGV Story, a history of the NGV published on the NGV’s 150th anniversary and Loti Smorgon, a book about the Australian art collector and philanthropist who had her portrait painted by Warhol. In 2014, Phip completed a research report for the Australia Council for the Arts titled Talking Points: a snapshot of contemporary visual arts (2013-2014), a qualitative profile of the contemporary art and design sector based on interviews with over 90 Australian art and design sector participants. Phip also regularly writes catalogue essays and texts for Australian arts media.

Phip first undertook an Arts/Law degree at The University of Melbourne, with a major in English Literature and a minor in Art History, and then completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Media Arts) and Masters by Research through RMIT’s Media Arts course.


After a few years of sessional tutoring in the History/Theory course, Phip became History/Theory Coordinator in 2012. Phip is responsible for the three core history and theory subjects, which students do in first, second and third year, and she also teaches into the fourth year subject Research Strategies. Also important to the history/theory curricula are the sessional tutors who bring diverse and significant experience across art, design and architecture to the history/theory courses. Phip is also second supervisor for three Ph.D candidates in the School of Architecture + Design.

In 2014, Phip also co-convened an international symposium with Dr Suzie Attiwill titled SITUATION, which explored the notion of the interior as a lived time-space composition. The symposium comprised three days of papers from Australian and international guests as well as three presentations from keynote speakers: Omar Sosa (Spain, publisher of Apartamento magazine); Edward Hollis (UK, author of The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip and The Memory Palace: A book of lost Interiors); and Bianca Hester (Australia, artist and academic).


Phip sits on a number of boards and panels. She is currently chair of the board of the independent arts publication un Magazine and a board member of Liquid Architecture Sound Art Festival, Rawcus Theatre Company, and NETS (the national education and touring scheme). Past memberships include: Contemporary Performance panel of the Green Room Awards; Georges Mora Foundation; and Next Wave Festival Curatorial Committee.

Phip also often contributes as a peer assessor on government funding rounds. For the Australian Council for the Arts she has peer-assessed Arts Fellowships, Awards; International Visitors; Presentation & Promotion; and Early Careers Residency Program, and for the City of Melbourne she has peer-assessed the 2015-2017 Triennial Grants; Writing About Melbourne; Arts House presentation + development; and Arts House CultureLAB.