10 years ago our Founding Director, Emilya Colliver returned to Australia after several years of a successful art career in the UK and China.
Finding the Australian art scene substantially smaller and more insular than that of Europe and Asia, Emilya began working to find a way to bring more high quality art into everyone’s everyday life.
Emilya staged her first art activation as a one woman show on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. Inspired by the famed British artist Damien Hirst’s activation, ‘The Pharmacy’, she dressed her friends and artists in lab coats and nurse hats, and titled this activation ‘Art Pharmacy’.
We’ve come a long way since then. We’ve had the chance to work with so many incredible clients and so many talented artists, from emerging to established, and we like to think we’ve brought a lot more public art into everyone’s everyday lives.
To celebrate this past decade doing what we do best, here are some highlights from the journey so far…
Art Pharmacy Online
Art Pharmacy began as a one-woman-show, by Emilya Colliver at her kitchen table with a new baby in tow. Seeking to combine the accessibility and technology of online shopping with the perceived luxury of buying art, Emilya set up an online store boasting a curated selection from emerging artists.
The Art Pharmacy, 2015
In 2015, Emilya Colliver staged an art activation in a City of Sydney pop-up site on Oxford Street in Darlinghurst. Emilya asked an artist friend to paint the walls, and called this public art activation ‘The Art Pharmacy’.
The name came from Famous Artist Damien Hirst’s installation work called ‘The Pharmacy’, where he kitted out an entire restaurant in Notting Hill as a pharmacy full of his artworks. Emilya loved the idea of creating a space where art lovers can come and get their ‘fix’ of art from really exciting emerging artists.
In 2015, Emilya took on the role of Director of the first The Other Art Fair in Sydney, where she was approached by several private collectors, corporations, restaurants and Council members for her curatorial advice. It was then that Art Pharmacy Consulting as a business began and grew from a one-woman-show into a ten person team.
Art Pharmacy, 2020
When the pandemic hit, Art Pharmacy Online and Art Pharmacy Consulting were merged into one singular entity – Art Pharmacy.
Since then, we’ve worked on over 50 projects over 4 states in Australia, engaging diverse and talented artists from every state in the country.
During the 2021 lockdown, we really began to think about how we could identify, drive and grow our support for artists and add value to the community through public art and activations. We received our certification in early 2022, and we see this as a huge step in recognising the social impact of our actions and projects.
Who we are now
Art Pharmacy is a full service art and culture consultancy implementing public art strategy. Working with us means you are striving to build a strong community, support artists’ livelihoods and bring great joy and connection into our world.
As the world’s first Arts and Culture B-Corporation, we are committed to fostering diversity and sustainability in Australian art practices and bringing art to all communities.