Kitty Clark is the Founder and Director of Saint Cloche, a contemporary art gallery and concept space in Sydney’s Paddington. Always a passionate creative, she began her career working as an Artist before channeling her creative energy into the fashion world as a Buyer for Gucci. After working in such an innovative industry, Kitty was inspired to seek out undiscovered terrain, eventually founding Saint Cloche in 2016. We visited her light filled gallery, to learn more about her pivotal career change, judicial approach to curation and the creatives she admires.
It was while working for fashion innovator Gucci that Kitty began to refine her skills as a curator. “Working for a luxury brand broadened my viewpoint in my approach to new ideas, they had to be innovative to be ahead of the game. There was always a 360 degree view across all channels of operation, that enabled us to deliver rich and personalised experiences to our customers.” she shares. Over time, her passion grew and eventually she found herself needing to be challenged creatively. “I was tiring of the familiar and needed to be constantly evolving to feel nourished.” After taking the brave leap to launch her gallery, Kitty set out to build a reputation, cementing herself amongst the established galleries of Sydney with her dynamic, diverse and high-calibre exhibitions.
Kitty wears the Malene Silk Shirt in Thyme.
As a curator, Kitty’s attuned awareness of today’s hyper-connected world, sees her taking cues from design, music, interiors, architecture, fashion, nature, changing weather patterns, and current issues. “I tune into the undercurrent more than what’s happening on the surface. I’m constantly absorbing things around me and I find inspiration everywhere.” she says. “It all percolates inside me and an idea starts to form, a spark ignites, I let it marinate until it builds into what I can only describe as an obsession and I have to act on it and manifest it somehow. This is the only way I can describe my modus operandi.” In a sense, curating has become her own artistic expression, her visual canvas, allowing her to engage on a deeper level with the creative community.
Situated on a beautiful corner, accentuated by a large set of vintage Swedish industrial windows, Saint Cloche is at the epicentre of a growing community of like-minded creatives, promoting art, culture and contemporary thinking. Carefully curated, each exhibition exists harmoniously within the space, sharing in the gallery’s signature style and aesthetic. “I am personally drawn to works that have a deeper sense of narrative. I enjoy works that push the viewer to engage thoughtfully.” Kitty explains. “I am also very much drawn to colour and how it can be applied by artists in a new and unseen way, unique to their practice. Colour is another powerful tool that can set a tone, attract attention and evoke emotion.” Kitty also notes the importance of diversity, “Showing a diverse range of artists and different works that speak to a variety of people is our ethos. Saint Cloche is able to connect with new and seasoned collectors from all walks of life…our offering may be broad, yet I work closely with my clientele to create their bespoke art collections.”
Kitty wears the Malene Silk Shirt in Thyme.
Ever inspired by her surroundings, Kitty is currently obsessing over the architects behind the newest Aesop Sydney Flagship store, Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta. “Their innovative structures built in vulnerable landscapes are amazing!” she says. “Also, Valerie Traan’s Veerle Wenes’ design gallery in Antwerp, where she’s used her house and workplace as a platform for celebrating objects that communicate stories about their makers.” As a working mother of a young family Kitty is also inspired by Valerie Traan’s approach to interior design. “As I currently and mostly work from home with two young toddlers, it is important to me that the space I work and live in, is an inspirational space for my work and a nurturing one for my young family.”
Being a Paddington local since her teens, Kitty has developed a strong relationship with her suburb, built on an appreciation of its history, village atmosphere and art community. “I love strolling through the lush tree-lined streets and discovering the unique architectural landscape that has wonderful heritage significance. You will find Paddington’s evolutionary history through the iconic buildings that have been designed by some of Australia’s leading architects such as Harry Seidler, Ken Woolley, and Peter Stronach. Architecture is a subject I’ve long been passionate about, sometimes the group shows I curate are acutely influenced by architecture.” she muses.
August is an exciting month for Saint Cloche as they launch their collaboration with Showroom-X. Showroom-X is a premier, luxury fashion portal which will launch in Australia on the 17th August 2020. A refined digital platform, Showroom-X is dedicated to showcasing the best of the Australian spirit through luxury fashion, wellness, bespoke art and design. Saint Cloche will be presenting Showroom-X’s Art Annex – available for exploration and purchase. Kitty will also be curating a digital group show – Terra Australis Incognito (The Great Unknown Land) which brings together some of the country’s most talented emerging artists, inspired by the rugged and remarkable Australian landscape.
At the gallery in Paddington, they have just finished showing Melbourne based, self-taught artist Saxon Quinn (featured in imagery above), whose works draw from the urban environment, reinterpreting them as bold, two dimensional representations using cement plaster as his main medium.
On show right now is Sydney based landscape artist Ingrid Bowen. Her paintings use a quintessentially Australian palette, of eucalyptus, grey/blue indigo, olive greens, sunburnt grey/sepia and copper, highlighting her innate connection to terrain and storyline, largely informed by responses to her own surroundings and personal history.
After that, Saint Cloche will play host to Sydney based sculptor Tracey Deep, who is a leading artist in her field and a national treasure. A pioneer in the development of botanical artistry in Australia, she is much loved and hugely revered for her humble authenticity and devotion to nature. Celebrated for her sustainable sculptures and installations using organic and industrial recycled materials for over two decades – her creations are as distinctive as a thumbprint. Tracey’s latest body of work ‘Ancient Forest’, an ode to our precious forest, will transform the gallery space from top to bottom into an ethereal wonderland.
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