Our Social Impact

19 November 2019
For the love of art

ColourSpace is a certified social enterprise, which means we deliver a service of commercial value, from which we create our social impact. But just what impact does ColourSpace create?

JuzPop Creations

For artists, it’s not just about selling art; it’s about having meaningful opportunities to get their art out and in front of people.

ColourSpace recently conducted a blind survey of over 100 artists whose works have been displayed with our supporting clients, and this is what we found:

  • More than 80% of our artists felt validated, joyous, and motivated to continue to create art once their art was out on display
  • 35% of the artists also create art for mental health and therapy reasons
  • Almost half of the artists who exhibited with ColourSpace were exposed to more art-related opportunities; both commercial and artistic
  • To date, we have shared over $75,000 in revenue to artists through royalties and sales
Small Pleasures 2
Myra Carter

Myra Carter: “I never could have imagined in a million years that a piece of my artwork would be on the walls of the office of the Governor-Solicitor. Honestly ColourSpace gives me so much motivation, you have no idea!”

What’s the one thing that artists want?

Actually there’s 2 things. More respect for art, and more people wanting to pay for art. Or conversely, they felt that there isn’t enough respect for Australian art, which bleeds over into people not willing to pay for it. This is the one of the big challenges that ColourSpace had always wanted to address from Day 1. We understand that art is highly subjective. And in an environment where every decision is made with a clear purpose in mind supported by evidence, it can be even harder to justify something that could be considered ‘frivolous’.

And so by changing the artwork around (which reduces the risk of being ‘stuck’ with art that people don’t like) and by creating a system in which artists can financially benefit from it, our goal is really to make are more accessible and to ‘lift the tide’ for Australian art.

But it really is more than that. The clients we’ve serviced over several rotations have all seen their culture subtly change. The changing of art is an event; an activity that brings new energy and vibrancy into an office. Even when people debate about it, they are engaging in conversations that they may not previously have had.

Running Repairs
Geoff Cunningham

So who are we actually supporting?

These are the types of artists who are working with ColourSpace:

  • 81%+ are female
  • 54.2%+ over 45 (31.3%+ over 55)
  • 8.3% LGBTQI+
  • 12.5% CALD
  • 12.5% refugee or 1st gen migrant

ColourSpace also works with Indigenous artists and art communities such as Baluk Arts, however we engage with these communities directly to enable them more control and say what artworks and stories they share.

As such, ColourSpace represents an incredibly diverse range of artists and communities, all with tremendous gifts and stories to tell. By opening up spaces, our clients are directly helping artists find and create new opportunities.

Running Repairs
Geoff Cunningham

Giving back with art

We also want to share the benefits of art with those who can’t afford it. That’s why a further 10% of each artwork on display at the VGSO is currently funding art therapy and creative workshops for children from the Save the Children’s Cubbies program, an initiative that supports children from low socio-economic and often refugee backgrounds.

Changing the we engage with art

Our vision is to make art accessible to organisations and businesses by providing a service that is meaningful and delivers a genuine benefit, so that we can create social and economic opportunities for local Australian artists from all walks of life.

We’re fond of saying that ColourSpace is more than just ‘a picture on the wall’, and we mean it. There’s a growing body of research that demonstrates the benefits of art in a workplace, from increasing productivity, reducing stress, encouraging collaboration and creativity and improving overall quality of life. But why is that important?

The recent Shared Value Project conducted in partnership with PWC brought to the surface a need to focus on mental health, and the important role that businesses can play in addressing this. Scarily, 45% of Australians will experience a lifetime mental illness. For those seeking a quantifiable impact, KPMG have estimated the direct cost of mental health issues on businesses at $13b a year.

We’re by no means suggesting that simply bringing art into your office will you millions of dollars in lost productivity. But we do know by investing in different ways to integrate mental health initiatives throughout the workplace - as recommended by the Shared Value Project - we can help create a thriving workplace that genuinely engages everyone who visits.

Thank you!