• Wilamina Russo

The Accidental Art Collector

Updated: Jan 15, 2021

I acquired my first piece when I was 12.

Let's be honest though, I didn't know that's what I was doing, starting a collection.

My parents took me to an exhibition being held in an apartment in the building where we spent our summer holidays. When asked if I liked any of the paintings, I pointed to one with three little girls sitting beside a road waiting for a school bus. It connected with me.

My two brothers and I spent out primary school years waiting for the school bus each morning outside our home in the sugar cane fields in North Queensland, Australia. We woke at 7am, which as a child I thought was a rude hour of the morning, to be ready for the bus which came at 8am to get us to school for 9am. We didn't have to sit on our ports like the girls in the painting, we sat on an old log my dad had fixed into place with some concrete. Needless to say our names Ben Willy and Ed were etched in the concrete before it fully dried.

Since that painting, I have bought art from cafes, Instagram, online websites, direct from artists, from bricks and mortar galleries, from deceased estates, and from markets. I've been gifted pieces and I've commissioned paintings. Over the years my husband and I have acquired quite a lot of art, so much so that I recently looked around and realised, "Shivers, we have a collection." Some has increased in value, others have held their value, and some, well, it may not be worth much more than the materials it's made of. But that's OK, because I love them all and at this stage, have no intention of moving them on.

Throughout my art buying adventures I've learnt a few things which I'm going to share here, kind of like lessons in collecting. Sounds rather posh doesn't it? Really, it's just tips and advice about what to consider when you're buying art.

Hopefully my experience will help you navigate the vast and often overwhelming world of art.

See you soon.

Wilamina x

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