A Stylish Life is about women who inspire me, are leaders in their field and above all else, have style in spades. She’s a wife and mother with a heart of gold, but Andy Dinan is turning the Melbourne art world on its head
ANDY Dinan is a self-confessed art addict. Starting out as an art collector 25 years ago, the founder – and force – behind the hugely successful Melbourne Art Rooms is now happily entrenched as a gallerist.
I first met Andy in the mid 1990s when she was forging a reputation as one of Australia’s most dynamic PR consultants. So it was only natural she establish her own agency, PR Works, a creative hot shop that quickly gained a reputation. But after 10 successful years at the helm, she sold her company to focus on her penchant for the arts.
With a philosophy of
“knowing what she definitely didn’t want a gallery to be”, Andy founded the Melbourne Art Rooms (commonly known as MARS Gallery) in Port
Melbourne in 2005, transforming an old dairy into a magnificent, two-level
contemporary gallery specialising in mid-career Australian artists.
With a savvy eye for emerging talent and a steadfast resolve for promoting Australian artists, Andy has been quietly (although some might argue that Andy doesn’t do quiet!) getting their work out into the public domain, into private collections and other forums.
It is through the gallery that Andy enjoys a unique position in the arts world staging regular exhibitions,
attending international art fairs, opening a Collins St pop-up shop, curating special
events and consulting on major public art commissions. She also co-ordinates an art rental scheme encouraging others to get a chance to live with great art.
Next week, Andy and MARS Gallery head to Sydney for the inaugural Sydney Contemporary, (September 19-22), Australia’s new international art fair presenting modern and contemporary artwork from more than 80 Australian and international galleries. The exhibitor list contains some of the most respected names in the contemporary art world, establishing Sydney Contemporary as a must-see event on the cultural calendar.
But art is not her only passion. She is a founder of the Off Your Back winter coat collection, a charity – now in its eighth year –which collects winter coats for the needy. She is also an
advisor to TLC.
However, while she loves to advance the careers of her artists and gets her
causes noticed and supported, she considers her most important job is as a mother of
three, wife, daughter and sister to all.
“If you could be anyone, who would you be? Me silly, I’m the luckiest person in the world!
are you right now?
where I want to be – gallerist, mother and happy to be alive and
do you feel most at home?
MARS gallery – usually in bare feet
talking to people with a glass of wine in my hand and artists who I adore
the best advice you’ve ever been given?
before you speak – I just wish I could practise that.
are most proud of …
children, my gallery, my annual Off Your Back charity winter coat collection and my
wicked sense of humour (in that order).
are surprised that …
makes you laugh?
Allen, The Simpsons, Charles Saatchi and my kids know how to make me laugh when I’m down.
have an irrational fear of …
are you reading right now?
Artists’ Manifestos: From the Futurists to the Stuckists selected by Alex
was the last film you watched?
Disney’s Aladdin – in my onesies with a big bag of Maltesers and my 12-year-old twins in
bed last night.
online sites do you visit everyday?
– Contemporary Art News, views and exhibitions from around the globe.
dream lunch date?
man who makes me laugh.
six people would you invite to dinner?
Allen to make me laugh, Brad
Pitt to stare at, Barack Obama
to help me understand world issues, Nelson Mandela
to help me solve them, the Dalai
Lama to make peace through the dinner, Rupert
Murdoch cause he turns me on with all that power and money, and David
Attenborough to help me save the planet
and plan my next holiday to Costa Rica.
many to list, but number one would definitely be stuble and a tool belt!
you could be anyone, who would you be?
silly, I’m the luckiest person in the world.
is your go-to outfit/your signature style?
in a black Eugenie cashmere round-neck jumper, black leggings, black
suede knee-high riding boots, Hermes vintage bird scarf and my jacket depends on
weather – at the moment it’s a Max Mara leather. Diamond
studs, Rolex watch, pure cotton underwear from GAP and a black lace bra from La Perla!
does every woman need?
1: A sense of humour
2: To know how to make a martini
3: When to walk out on a man and when to stay
4: The perfect black dress (I recommend Valentino for
this; you will only need one your whole life)
5: To waltz well
6: To be
able to cook a signature dish
7: To believe
in herself and know how loved she is
9: A friend who would ride shot gun for you, hold your hair when you are throwing up and
take a bullet for you.
What was the last thing you bought?
A Daniel Agdag sculpture. It’s made with a
cardboard box and an 11 scalpel and took him four months to carve.
is your greatest extravagance?
thinking alone – it costs nothing but is the hardest thing for me to get.
money was no object, what would your dream purchase be?
small private island in the Caribbean.
things you can’t live without?
So easy. Viki, Ali and Will – they are my three children.
10 things are in your handbag?
2: Black MasterCard in Hermes mustard wallet
4: New green Chanel sunglasses
of business cards
to my next exhibition
all I need!
Subjective – you either have
it or you don’t.
To find out more and to see what’s on, go to MARS Gallery or email email@example.com
418 Bay St,
Port Melbourne, 3207
+61 (0) 3 9681 8425
245 Wilson St (cnr Codrington St)
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Labels: A Stylish Life, Andy Dinan, MARS Gallery, Off Your Back, Sydney Contemporary