Collectors take centrestage

Published in Art Collector, Issue 68, Apr-Jun 2014

"Collectors take centre stage" by Jane O'Sullivan in Art Collector

If you’re the sort of person who immediately asks a new acquaintance what art they like, then chances are you’ll be interested in a new project being mounted at Brenda May Gallery in Sydney that puts collectors in the spotlight. In June the gallery will exhibit art from the collections of two Sydney-based collectors, Gordon Elliott and Jeffrey Hinch. It is the first in what is intended to be a series of exhibitions taking place every two years showing what people are collecting.

While both collectors are obviously clients of Brenda May Gallery, the exhibition will also include work originally purchased at other galleries.

Hinch is a big collector of James Guppy (“both old and newer works as he, for me, represents how an idea can be conveyed with such a delicate touch”) as well as Robert Boynes and Todd Fuller.

Elliott, who also runs Sydney Art Walks, has a broad collection spanning established artists like Clement Meadmore and Euan Macleod as well Michael Zavros, Stephen Benwell and Cherry Hood, along with younger artists such as Julian Meagher, Alexander Seton and Laith McGregor. “There will be works by most of these artists as part of the exhibition but the list of works for sale has not been finalised. You will need to come along and see what becomes available,” he says.

While a small percentage of the work in the exhibition will be offered for sale it’s primarily an exercise in stickybeaking – with the ultimate goal of encouraging others to start collecting.

“I hope that people who see the works will see that they can also collect, and you can start small and work up to major works,” says Elliott. “Also I hope they realise that [collecting] is a process that changes and evolves over time and that is perfectly natural. Your ideas and tastes on art will change over time as you grow with your collection.”

Hinch wants others to gain confidence from seeing his collection. “Instincts are a much overlooked and subconscious reaction of an inner self that at times, when we rest, self-govern what and who we are. Our responses to work speak to that individual.”

He adds: “I never intentionally set out to collect, but looking back and understanding my personality traits, it allows me to convey who I am and stamp my unique essence on, essentially, bricks and mortar. When you walk into my home, I am there on every wall, [the] tables, the floor and on shelving, and my presence is felt in every room. That is as it should be.”

Collectors runs from 17 June to 12 July 2014 at Brenda May Gallery in Sydney.