When Lily Mora returned to Australia after five years living in London, she came back to her hometown art industry with fresh eyes. Almost immediately, she noticed a voracious demand for affordable art among a new generation of first-time buyers starting out their collections.
‘We have many wonderful galleries who cater to the more seasoned art collector, but I felt there was a gap for a well-curated platform for new or first-time buyers,’ Lily explains. ‘I also had a sense from talking to artists that there was an appetite, particularly in Melbourne, for something that’s a bit different to the traditional gallery model.’
With fine-tuned experience in arts marketing and digital communications (Lily worked as the Marketing Manager at London institution, the Tate!) and a keen curatorial eye, the idea for an online marketplace dedicated to affordable Australian art emerged quite naturally. So, she set about creating it herself.
‘The art world can be intimidating,’ Lily concedes. ‘But an online gallery allows for a more flexible and fluid way of presenting artwork, which I think can particularly benefit artists in the early stages of their careers.’
Sunday Salon launched earlier this week with one primary goal, connecting emerging Australian artists with new collectors. With a nod to pioneering art patron Sunday Reed (the ‘Sunday’ in Sunday Salon), the platform hosts works from 14 local artists on a rotating basis. With prices starting at $320, the offering includes painting, sculpture, illustration, photography, even mixed media works printed on silk. The prices fluctuate, but in order to maintain its ‘affordable’ mantle, nothing exceeds $4,000 (with plenty of works under $1,000).
Even though Lily started working on Sunday Salon before the pandemic hit, she highlights its relevance as a tool to support artists and struggling arts communities now more than ever. ‘Many of the artists featured on Sunday Salon have had exhibitions and projects cancelled, but is has been really inspiring to see their creativity flourish in spite of this,’ she describes, noting that a number of the works were created during lockdown.
While Sunday Salon is a firmly digital native project, Lily hopes she will have a physical space for people to visit by appointment later in the year. She also plans to run a few exhibitions throughout each year in rotating locations. Once we’re on the other side of these restrictions, we can’t wait to see what she has planned!
Works are now for sale on Sunday Salon. You can browse them here.