Skip to content

The Arts

The Paul Eliadis AM Collection of Contemporary Art

The Paul Eliadis AM Collection of Contemporary Art was established as a private holding in 1989, motivated by a curiosity toward the art of our time, an artist’s role in the community, and a personal aspiration to seek beauty and understanding amid complex human endeavour.

The Collection was initially focused on painting by Australian artists, from 1960 to the present. Since then it has held and gifted works by a core group of artists, including Ian Burn, Gordon Bennett, Juan Davila, Imants Tillers, Tracey Moffatt, Jon Cattapan, Scott Redford, Madonna Staunton, Vivienne Binns, and Indigenous artists such as Turkey Tolson Tjupurrula (Papunya), Maggie Watson Napangardi (Yuendumu) and Emily Kame Kngwarreye (Utopia).

Dr Paul Eliadis Arts Greek
A beautiful work of art draws us near to itself. It is only after this initial attraction that I may be fortunate to understand the work more profoundly or intellectually. To understand a great work of art may take a long time. Complete understanding may remain elusive forever”. (Source: Paul Eliadis, 2015)

The Paul Eliadis AM Collection of Contemporary Art

The Collection evolved further, from 2010, to include works by selected international artists, such as Ed Ruscha (USA), J.D Ojeikere (Nigeria) and Gonkar Gyatso (Tibet/USA/UK), often as a result of travelling abroad and visiting major exhibitions in leading global institutions. It was during some of these trips he developed a passion to offer targeted support as a patron for special artist projects and worked toward their presentation at major global showcases.

Over time the collection has grown, and, after periods of review, been honed through gifting to reflect new interests and pathways. The largest legacy impact for the collection has become philanthropic, and subsequently almost 200 works from the collection have been gifted to public institutions in Queensland via the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Major beneficiaries include The Griffith University Art Collection, Museum of Brisbane and QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art).

Dr Eliadis AM has especially enjoyed supporting agencies and artists involved with Australia’s recurring representation at the Venice Biennale, and became a significant donor to several Biennale projects through the Australia Council’s Venice Champions Program. He was also a key supporter of the redesign and rebuild of the Australian pavilion on the grounds of the Giardini, which opened in 2015 with Fiona Hall’s installation.

Dr Eliadis was ultimately invited to serve on the 56th Venice Biennale Commissioner’s Council under Chair, Simon Mordant AM, and subsequently for the 57th Venice Biennale.  A personal highlight was serving as Queensland representative on the Commissioner’s Council under Naomi Milgrom AO, in support of Tracey Moffatt’s presentation for Australia in 2017.

Complementing accolades for Greek community involvement, academic and medical endeavours, awards and recognition have also followed his dedication to the Arts. For his services to philanthropy in support of contemporary art in Australia, Dr Eliadis was awarded Honoris Causa, an Honorary Doctorate by Griffith University, in 2008. As he stated in his Honoris Causa acceptance address, the initial attraction for Dr Eliadis towards a work of art has always been aesthetic, noting “this attraction is nothing unique, it is what drives us all. We are all attracted by beautiful things”. As his collecting patterns show, complex, social and identity-based work are important facets within his expansive world view of what can be considered ‘beautiful’.

Many years ago, well before he began collecting art, he first became interested in the Ancient Greeks. One author, Professor Kitto, characterised them as lovers of beauty and lovers of freedom. At the time, Dr Eliadis did not realise how personally relevant Professor Kitto’s proclamation was going to become. It was only later that he came to appreciate that to be a ΦΙΛΟΚΑΛΟΣ or ‘lover of beauty’, was a basic tenet for a civilised and meaningful life.

His appreciation for beauty, and expanded ideas for contemporary art, visual culture and design, culminated in 2017 with the single largest gift of textiles now held by any Australian institution, The Easton Pearson Archive, donated to the Museum of Brisbane. This transformative celebration of multi-art forms by a local atelier, saw over 3000 signature garments, original sketches, photographic documentation and applied design become a core cultural asset for the people of Brisbane, with special access for design and fashion students from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and a regional touring exhibition program.

In 2022 Dr Eliadis AM was awarded the QAGOMA Medal for his exceptional and inspiring contributions toward building the Collection, where he is also recognised as a Special Patron of the QAGOMA Foundation. He remains a Champion of the Venice Biennale for Australia, and continues to offer works from his collection into various public museums and galleries in Australia.

Dr Paul In Social Media