The Collector’s Space

What do some of Australia’s most noteworthy artist’s hang on their walls? Max Germanos of 3:33 Art Projects curated this year’s iteration of The Collectors’ Space to answer the question.

Words: Camilla Wagstaff

What do some of Australia’s most noteworthy artist’s hang on their walls? Max Germanos of 3:33 Art Projects curated this year’s iteration of The Collectors’ Space to answer the question. Hosted by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, the Art Month Sydney event presents the personal collections of Del Kathryn Barton, Nicholas Harding, Lara Merrett and Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.

Each practitioner has a different approach to collecting, according to Germanos. For example, for Barton “living with original works feeds every part of my being each day. I collect from the heart. If I had real money I would be out-of-control buying art from all over the world!” while “Merrett likes to collect works that are ambiguous and mysterious – art works that keep her guessing and that draw her back to a work over time. Also small works are always attractive as it’s something she struggles with in her own practice.” Nithiyendran’s collection is made up of work by younger, less established artists that he has chosen to support after having had a great deal of support from more established practitioners throughout his studies. “I believe it is important to find ways to nurture the younger generation,” said the artist.

Amidst preparation for the opening of the space, we had a quick chat to Germanos about the highlights of the show.

What has been the most intriguing object or artwork that you have encountered in the process of putting this show together?

There are some amazing art works in all the collections including works on paper by Raymond Petition and Max Beckman that were not exhibited. But my initial reaction, I love the Mike Parr work on paper, Susan Norris Godzilla, Phil James work, Rhys Lee and Jenny Orchard. What will be interesting to see if my favourites change over the next few weeks. Your feelings towards a collection changes over will be interesting because the best art works rise to the surface over time so I am looking forward to spending time in the Collectors Space over the next few weeks.

Why do you think this is an important event for Art Month?

This is always a very popular feature of Art Month. The Collectors’ Space is fascinating as it gives access and insight in how private collectors form collections. Some of these works may never be seen by the public. This year has a different focus based on what artists collect but more interestingly, what they “buy” – this is a real endorsement to an art work and a fellow artist. Ultimately, The Collectors’ Space is about artists.

How do you think the collections of these contemporary practitioners reflect on the Australian art scene as a whole?

What’s interesting is that the chosen collectors are some of the hottest artists practicing. Their collections are as varied and individual as the artist’s themselves – very similar to their own art practices, so I think we have covered a broad part of the current Australian art scene, from vibrant, striking abstract paintings, to softer and emotive works on paper. Sculpture and ceramics are also prominent feature of this year’s Collectors Space.

The Collectors’ Space runs until 16 March, 2017 open every Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 5pm at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Paddington.

Image: Max Germanos, photographed for Art Collector issue 70, October – December 2014. Portrait by Nikki Short.


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