Elishia Whitchurch

Principal at Urban Art Projects (UAP)

Elishia Whitchurch

A professional dancer who toured the world, Elishia Whitchurch took her first steps on the streets of Brisbane where she later discovered her passion for public art.

“Before Brisbane Festival there was Warana and I used to dance in the Warana Parade as a child,” she recalls.

“I have flashbacks of being dressed in a red sequined jester’s costume!”

After hanging up her dancing shoes, Elishia returned to Brisbane where she discovered her passion for public art while studying a Bachelor of Design at Griffith University.

Elishia dusted off her passport soon after graduating and spent the past 12 years delivering public art projects for Urban Art Projects (UAP) in the USA, Middle East and Asia.

The Brisbane-based company is globally renowned for collaborating with artists, creatives and developers to create, design and construct public art across the world.

“I believe that creativity in our public spaces is very important … public art can be so galvanising and can be a symbol of hope and strength,” she says.

“Supporting artists is at the core of everything we do at UAP.

“Working with artists and other creatives to find a way to realise their ambitions is why I get out of bed every day!”

Elishia says Brisbane is unique in how its environment influences artists, encourages them to experiment and allows them space to flourish.

“There is no denying that our sub-tropical climate and relaxed outdoor lifestyle differentiates the way we commission work and consider public art for our city.

“We definitely embrace colour.”

Vibrancy and colour are key to Messengers of Brisbane, a large-scale premiere installation by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, brought to life by Elishia and her team at UAP.

“Brisbane Festival is such a unifying, vivacious event for Brisbane and there is always something extra special about being part of an event or delivering work in your home town.”

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