What is art for?
At its best, I think contemporary art can be a really powerful language to help understand the world, and by using this language, for us be able to somehow contribute to and benefit from the circulation of value and ideas. A large part of the gallery’s activity, and the best part of my job, is helping connect people with some of the incredible objects, images, and ideas in art of our time.
Can you introduce us to Fine Arts, Sydney?
Fine Arts, Sydney is a traditional and maybe even quite old-fashioned idea of a gallery, in that we consciously operate on a very personal scale, we have a physical space in which we present a programme of exhibitions, we represent and advocate for the work of certain artists, and we offer a place for collectors and institutions to buy work for their collections. The process of buying art is almost always a conversation where the artist, the gallery, and the collector all have something to bring to the table, and it’s our hope that anyone is able to feel very welcome in this.
Tell us about your programme?
Fine Arts, Sydney opened in mid-2017. The first exhibition was of work by Martin Creed, and since then we’ve made a number of exhibitions with artists whose work we represent on an ongoing basis, as well as making exhibitions on more of a project basis. There is certainly a connection amongst the gallery’s programme to artists whose work might be especially familiar to a New Zealand audience, including Simon Denny, Yona Lee, Michael Stevenson, Fiona Connor, Gretchen Albrecht, Julian Dashper, Yvonne Todd, Peter Stichbury, and Kate Newby, for example.
The gallery’s program is intergenerational and international, and has brought a number of artists and their work to Australia either for the first time or for the first time in a generation – as well as presenting the work of artists who are part of the story of contemporary art in Australia but whose work might not have been so accessible to audiences and collections here. It’s a real pleasure to present artists’ work that we believe in, and it is always a high moment when others share in that too.