Success story: Fehily Contemporary

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Fehily Contemporary is a contemporary art gallery established by Lisa and Ken Fehily – two passionate, dynamic collectors whose personal journey of collecting, supporting artists’ careers and the Australian contemporary art sector, informs all levels of the business, enriching the experience for collectors and artists alike.

Starting as a temporary space in an old warehouse in Melbourne city, the gallery has since expanded to a large, two-story premise in Collingwood, where 24 represented artists from Australia, New Zealand and the United States regularly produce innovative and challenging art.

From its official launch at the 2010 Melbourne Art Fair, Fehily Contemporary has been dedicated to the exchange of ideas cultivated by art fairs in Australia and abroad. The gallery participated in the Melbourne Art Fair again in 2012 and 2014. In 2013, it also, participated in the Auckland Art Fair and the inaugural Sydney Contemporary Fair.

In addition to local ties, Fehily Contemporary also reaches out to the wider Asia-Pacific region, and exports contemporary Australian artworks to the world. ;During 2014, it represented a number of Australian artists at London Art Fair 14, and the inaugural START Fair at Saatchi in London. ;In this context, Mr Ken Fehily, a Director of Fehily Contemporary, recently wanted to convey his thanks to Austrade and the Australian government for its support of Australian businesses that are making significant effort and investments in developing international markets for Australian goods and services. “Such is essential for the success of Australia and Australians,” he said. I consider that the Australian Contemporary Art sector has much to contribute to the International Contemporary Art sector, not just from an economic and business perspective, but also in ensuring that Australia is recognised as being relevant and more than able to contribute to the Arts on a worldwide basis. He pointed out that the artists, numerous Federal and State organisations (e.g. the Australia Council and Arts Victoria) and galleries that represent the artists, were all working vigorously to make that possible, and the additional support of the Australian government via the EMDG scheme is appreciated and appropriate.

“I just received my first EMDG grant,” he said, “which will be of enormous support in ensuring that we are able to continue to push into the overseas market. As you would be most aware, it won't be achieved by a single hit and miss approach, but through a robust program executed over many years, and our ability to do that would not likely be viable without the support of the EMDG. ;It's a great program that rightly expects us to make significant efforts on our own account, but effectively matches our financial investment in the promotional activities. Pleasingly, we are already achieving export sales, and are currently making arrangements to head back to the UK and to Venice in 2015 to leverage what we have already achieved.”

Mr Fehily commended the continuing support of the Australian government in funding EMDG.