My ART | Collector: Anna Dean

Collector: Anna Dean

Collector: Anna Dean

What do you do?

Officially I’m the co-founder and co-director of the Wellington based marketing agency Double Denim based on Cuba St, Wellington. That means I’m all about being connected to creative networks, being a conduit and have been lucky enough to work on some pretty significant campaigns for the country.

The first artwork that made an impact on you?

I spent a lot of time at the Suter Art Gallery as a small child thanks to my Mum and regular trips to feed the ducks at the Queens Gardens. The full gambit of regional fine art/crafts in the 80s and 90s was on view there. There was a particular Rocking-horse Ride sculpture by Ria Bancroft I was a bit obsessed with at about 6. I spent hours looking at John Gully watercolours, Woollaston’s, the occasional Gretchen Albrecht and Hotere, and bright Jane Evans explosions. There was a huge range of the Nelson and New Zealand pottery greats including Christine Boswijk, Mirek Smisek, Jack Laird, Len Castle and always Fullmer ceramics in the gift shop to carefully pick up and put down. While the new Suter is pretty cool, I miss being able to go down the old carpeted stairs on my bum.

If you could own any work of art, what would it be?

Unfortunately one option isn’t enough. I’d love an Yvonne Todd and I have a few other favourites I check out online occasionally and pine. However, as my life is currently in storage, it would be better to have artwork I could wear. I’d love one of Moniek Schrijer’s large cubic zirconia pendants stuck in metal she’s been doing for about the last six months. I also covet Josephine Cachemaille’s giant pyrite paintings.

Tell us about the one that got away?

I remember being too broke to buy some Seraphine Pick drawings on cork board tiles at the Blue Oyster years ago. They were exceptional.

Tell us about a recent discovery?

I’ve really enjoyed watching the adaptation and resilience of our artists over this time and the way many have managed to communicate via instagram stories. I’ve loved a sweet wee series by artist Hannah Beehre of personal treasures from her home. Cherished objects like a lensatic compass she carried to Scott Base, a prom dress and so much more with explanatory stories. It’s been so generous and calm. John Ward Knox has been completely refiguring his garden, creating a greenhouse and making chess sets out of offcut wood. It’s been the best television.

Why collect?

What’s that great John Waters quote… “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t **** them.” I feel the same way about an art collection. I collect for reasons of community, friendship, nostalgia, documentation, colour, aesthetic…  I also collect to capture a time period and I would be very happy if Te Papa take my ‘Wellington Years Emerging Artists 2005-2020’ when I die – ha!

May 2020
Photo: Sara Tansy