Clement-Meehan is best described as catholic in her tastes. Her collection ranges from pop art style photographs of melting ice creams by Simone Rosenbauer and hyper-real bird portraits by Leila Jeffreys to dreamy landscapes by Lucy O’Doherty and explosive abstract colour relief paintings by Louise Zhang.
Based in Sydney but a regular traveller for work, the collector admits that she didn’t have much knowledge of contemporary art early on. But her enthusiasm led her to join the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Young Ambassadors program. “It was a great entry point to the art world for me, and through it I’ve met so many people who have had a formative part of my ad hoc art education,” she says. “I’ve accumulated so much knowledge in the last few years just by making the effort to ask questions when I’m in a gallery or at an event – people are very generous with their time and sharing their knowledge.”
Social media has also become an integral part of her collecting process. “The Instagram side of things is great because it gives you insight into [an artist’s] practice and a better understanding of who they are,” says Clement-Meehan. “That is part of the buying process for me. I can see if they have a show coming up, or what they’re working on. And if it’s something I like, I’ll make a point of prioritising it in my budget.”
For now, the main issue for this energetic young collector is the reality that she is fast running out of wall space. This has prompted Clement-Meehan to consider other ways to support young contemporary artists. She is now exploring a funding concept aimed at emerging female artists. “I think there’s a lot of scope to redefine philanthropy for young people who want to support the arts in a way that’s accessible and relevant. This project is very much in the planning stages at the moment, but I would like to create a way for people to support artists in a way beyond collecting.”
For Clement-Meehan, investing in art and artists appears to be a life-time passion and preoccupation. “I don’t see myself investing in realestate in the near future, so I’ve made the decision to spend my money this way,” she concludes. “But you do need to understand where your money is going; understand how galleries work with their artists and what their values are. I think if that all aligns, it’s a lovely process.”