On the Couch with Andy Dinan

Mars Gallery Andy Dinan AAR On the CouchWho is Andy Dinan?
MARS Gallery founder, Art Centre Melbourne Foundation Board member, Ovation Fundraiser Chair, mother, daughter, sister, friend, mentor, people mover, feminist, champagne drinker and lover. Not in any order but also a giver and taker and a Sunday kind of person who doesn’t mind a good frock.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Career wise – nothing different. Everything I have done in my career has led me to this position and I feel privileged to be doing the work I am; promoting and selling Australian artists I believe in.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by MARS exhibiting artists every day. Learning about the issues they’re exploring and working through to achieve their joint goals. Of particular note is Daniel Agdag, cardboard sculptor. He inspires me greatly as I’ve watched his career build to international recognition, this year winning the New York sculpture prize and yet he’s the most humble, kindest hardworking soul who always makes me laugh and still has time for everyone.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I try to make a difference by practicing acts of kindness daily but if I tell you they won’t be acts of kindness anymore. I think the world needs more kindness. We need to give each other a break; stop judging and start practicing kindness. I’m trying.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My favourite holiday destination of all time was when my family went to Africa. We crossed the Serengeti with the migration and I can still feel and smell Africa. I try to keep the sound of a lion roaring at night in my mind and heart. I’m really lucky because I travel a lot – art fairs, biennials, family etc, but Africa is unforgettable for so many reasons.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I take friends to my home, cook them a beautiful meal of fresh seafood and then for a walk to the beach. We often finish up in the garden around the fire pit with a glass of good red. For me the ultimate compliment is a home cooked meal with the things I treasure shared with the people I love. My home is my sanctuary, filled with a life time of collecting and memories, so to share it means those people are special.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished Bruny by Heather Rose, which I loved. She also wrote Museum of Love – which is a book I love to give as a gift.

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to the birds. They are chirping really loud when I wake up early morning. Bird tweets are beautiful and special – I’m a sucker for the sounds of nature. At MARS, even over the sound of the video installation we are showing, you can hear the birds.

Happiness is?
Sitting on the roof of MARS under a Cameron Robbins sculpture after an opening with a good champagne with very special artists friends and my family, watching the moon and stars. To me, there is nothing better than celebrating a hard day’s work with loved ones in nature.

What does the future hold for you?
My future has so many different levels! In work, I’m a culture consultant for East Brunswick Village which is really exciting. I’ve been on it for two years and feel it’s a new bench mark in art consulting. I’ve been able to make great change in the way a developer starts a large construction and through this change I think I can greatly help artists in this country.

On a personal level, February 2020 will be exciting as I’m chair of a fundraiser for Arts Centre Melbourne titled Ovation that raises money so all children can come to the Arts Centre. We are staging a dinner on the Sidney Myer Music Bowl – it’s going to be a cracker and I hope raise money for our beloved Arts Centre.

I figure I have, if I’m lucky, 20 years left on this earth and I want to use that time and the skills, contacts and energy I have to try and help it be a better world for my children – with and have lots of giggles and twirling on the way.

Andy is the Director of MARS (Melbourne Art Rooms) Gallery – who are celebrating their 15th Birthday with a Group Show featuring 30 artists encompassing painting, photography, sculpture and video from 12 December 2019. For more information, visit: www.marsgallery.com.au for details.

Image: Andy Dinan (supplied)