The QAGOMA Future Collective takes on the art of collecting

Panelists Glenn Manser, Joshua Jones, Justin Nicholas, Danielle Renshaw and Simon Wright share their collecting experiences with Future Collective members and their guests, GOMA, 2016 / Photograph: Mark Sherwood

Recently, QAGOMA Foundation Future Collective members and their guests were treated to exclusive after-hours access to GOMA for a forum on public and private collecting perspectives. The group began the evening with a tour of acquisition highlights with Aaron Seeto, Curatorial Manager, Asian and Pacific Art, before enjoying a spirited conversation between art collectors: Foundation members Glenn Manser and Danielle Renshaw; Future Collective members Justin Nicholas and Joshua Jones; and Simon Wright, Assistant Director, Learning and Public Engagement, QAGOMA

Aaron Seeto, Curatorial Manager, Asian and Pacific Art, gives the Future Collective a tour / Photograph: Mark Sherwood

The collecting bug bit me early in life and over the years I have traversed many interests in my collecting journey — from traditional hobbies of stamps and coins through to Australian art and decorative arts. It was comforting to know that the panellists shared many of my collecting experiences, including relentlessly chasing that must-have piece, parting with money that you really can’t afford to spend, and thinking responsibly about managing your collection. It was particularly enriching to hear Danielle and Glenn discuss their joy in gifting works to public institutions like QAGOMA.

My advice to new collectors is — don’t be afraid. Many of us visited galleries various times before summoning up the courage to approach the dealer; and often we began modestly, working our way up to bigger acquisitions as we grew more confident.

Here are a few tips that have worked well for me and for others:

1 | Get amongst it!
I learned the most about art and antiques by visiting galleries and stores, and by meeting dealers and other collectors. Sure, dealers are interested in selling, but the best have a passion to share their profound knowledge. Also ensure that you do your own research — take a look at other pieces by the artist, read any books or reviews that you can get your hands on. That way, you’ll feel more comfortable with your pieces.

2 | Buy what you love, but take risks!
Art is an investment both financially and emotionally. As it will hang on a wall in your home or office, I recommend you select things that interest you. Note I write “interest”, and not “like”. Certainly, buy works that you like, but sometimes the perennially rewarding artworks are those that push us out of our comfort zone.

3 | Have fun!
Collecting is a journey and, as such, it is what you make it. It’s been an exciting one for me so far, and has enriched my life immeasurably. Visit galleries, bid at auctions, but most of all, enjoy the lifelong learning that collecting brings!

I look forward to seeing you at our extravaganza at GOMA, the Future Collective Revel 2016, on Saturday 23 July.

Timothy Roberts is a consultant in Australian art heritage, Vice-President of the Professional Historians Association of Queensland, and Councillor of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland. He is a member of the QAGOMA Future Collective and has been a Member of the QAGOMA Foundation since 2010.

Future Collective Revel 2016
7pm – 11pm | Saturday 23 July
Buy Tickets

Join QAGOMA’s newest and youngest supporters, the Future Collective, for the first gala at GOMA as we lower the lights for an extravaganza of contemporary art, cocktails, live music and culinary delights.

Enjoy exclusive access to our latest exhibitions after hours
‘Cindy Sherman’
‘A World View: The Tim Fairfax Gift’

All proceeds of Revel 2016 will support the ongoing development of the Gallery through the QAGOMA Foundation.