Please tell us about yourself.
I am a dedicated art enthusiast with a rich international background steeped in the world of art. My journey into the realm of creativity began at a tender age, nurtured by the unwavering support of my father, a true art aficionado himself. In my formative years, he introduced me to the enchanting world of museums and gave me an abundance of art books, immersing me in a tapestry of artistic knowledge. I spent countless hours poring over these tomes.
My father’s encouragement extended beyond mere admiration. He commissioned me to create art — a cherished memory that remains an integral part of my artistic foundation. It was in Italy that I embarked on my formal art education studying fine arts, which marked the beginning of my academic journey in the arts.
Throughout the years, my exposure to art has transcended borders, embracing both international and local spheres. Art seeped into my very essence. I transitioned from making my own works of art to cultivating a deep appreciation for the creative endeavours of others. However, my story doesn’t end there. I am also an entrepreneur, specifically in the mining industry. My entry into the mining sector came at a time when there were very few women, and even fewer women of colour. Notwithstanding the obstacles, for over two decades, I carved a niche for myself within this sector, holding various executive and non-executive positions. My life is a blend of artistic passion and business acumen — a duality that defines my diverse and enriching journey.
What is your role at Strauss & CO?
My decision to join Strauss & Co represents a convergence of passion and purpose. First and foremost, I wholeheartedly align with Strauss & Co’s vision and unwavering values; this alignment is paramount to me. I find it to be an exceptional fit, considering my extensive background in fine art and entrepreneurship. I am confident that I can cultivate novel connections and foster visionary partnerships within the art realm, leveraging my wealth of knowledge, experience, and extensive networks.
Joining Strauss & Co is like returning to a cherished space to which I’ve dedicated a substantial part of my life — a 360-degree journey that has rekindled my profound enthusiasm.
Talk to us about your art studies.
My academic journey included an immersive exploration of Mannerism at Villa Schifanoia at the European University Institute in the picturesque town of Fiesole in Tuscany. This was complemented by the attainment of a Lyceum certificate from the Istituto D’Arte in Perugia, Italy. Subsequently, I did four years of fine arts at the renowned Accademia di Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci in Perugia, followed by an enriching two-year foray into the world of architecture at the University of Florence, Italy.
If you had unlimited funds, in which artists would you invest?
Although I lean toward contemporary African art, I am also a great lover of some African modernists, such as Gerard Sekoto, Moses Tladi, and the brilliant sculptors Sydney Kumalo and Ezrom Legae. Some of the artists in whose work I’d love to invest are (in no order of priority): Wangechi Mutu, El Anatsui, William Kentridge, Lady Skollie, Nicholas Hlobo, Athi-Patra Ruga, Zanele Muholi, Kudzanai Chiurai, Mary Sibande, Zandile Tshabalala, Aida Muluneh, Julie Mehretu, Turiya Magadlela, Michael Armitage, and Deborah Bell.
Which up-and-coming artist excites you?
I’m truly captivated by the artistic journey of the very young artist Boemo Diale. Witnessing her growth has been nothing short of extraordinary. She’s not only taken part in major art exhibitions across South Africa but is also currently showing work in Paris.
What art events are you looking forward to in 2024?
There are many, including the Investec Cape Town Art Fair; “Curatorial Voices”, a Strauss-led event in Cape Town; Dak’Art; the Venice Biennale; African Art in Venice Forum; Also Known As Africa (AKAA); the FNB Art Joburg fair; RMB Latitudes; 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair; ART X Lagos; Art Basel; and the Art Business Conference.
• From the 2023/2024 edition of Wanted Watches, Jewellery and Luxury.