Art Collector

Rae-ann Sinclair
& Nigel Williams

Melbourne couple Rae-ann Sinclair and Nigel Williams have cultivated a collecting approach that’s committed to the trajectories of Australian and New Zealand artists and interested in the way art can shape wider social and cultural conversations.

By Nadia Mohamad AUG 2016

When Rae-ann Sinclair greets me at the door to her and her husband Nigel Williams’s Melbourne apartment, it is immediately evident that the art inside is larger than life and covers a lot of ground – both physically and figuratively. Commanding immediate attention in the lounge room is one of Michael Parekowhai’s Kapa Haka sculptures. Stepping back from it, I notice that the walls of each room are lined with large-scale paintings and photographs, and other large sculpture works by the likes of Ronnie van Hout and Penny Byrne take up residence around each corner.

Sinclair and Williams have amassed an impressive art collection since their first purchase, made within a year of leaving university, in 1984. They warn me that what I can see in their Melbourne apartment is not really a fair representation of their whole collection, being home to some of the larger works in their eclectic, yet focused, collection.

As they walk and talk me through their apartment and collection, I get a sense of their passion and commitment to the arts, not only as collectors but as supporters and patrons too, especially of young and emerging Australian and New Zealand artists.

What’s your approach or philosophy to collecting art?
RS & NW: Effectively we’re hoarders rather than collectors. It’s a bit of an addiction, really. If there is a pattern, then it’s that we buy things that move us. We love knowing an artist’s history and we love to know the story behind things ... Subscribe to read this article in full

Purchase a pdf download of this issue (AUD$12)

Prefer a hard copy? Visit our subscription page to purchase single printed back issues.

NGVRoslyn Oxley Gallery AGSA NGA QAGOMA Metro