CREATIVE WOMENS BUSINESS FEATURE
Kitty Clark: Curiosity and Curation
Article by Jess Ibbett
Photography by Katie Kaars
PUBLISHED MAY 5 2021
In just a handful of years, Kitty Clark has created an iconic East Sydney art gallery showcasing the best of emerging and established Australian artists. A passion project from the start, Saint Cloche continues to showcase Kitty’s skill as a curator, along with her vision and drive for creating an innovative and dynamic space and cultivating a strong community of fans. It’s somewhat of a relief to hear her talk of satisfaction and happiness because, to be honest, the time and energy Kitty puts into her business would drive most people to despair. Sydney is lucky to have such a dedicated champion of the arts.
What do you do?
I am mother to Eva and Coby, wife to Jimmy, a daughter, a sister, a friend and I’m also Founder of Saint Cloche art gallery in Paddington where I curate the work of emerging and established Australian artists, whilst also providing a nurturing platform to champion fresh talent and present their ideas to the world. All of which brings me great joy, satisfaction and happiness.
Do you structure your work day or go with the flow?
My day is usually a combination of both structured and planned, as well as going with the flow and then of course there’s some juggling too!
What drives your creativity?
I am driven by passion for art in all its forms and I am a naturally curious person which I think is one of the elements a curator needs. The love I have for curation of art is what drives me to dig deep, until I connect with the undertow of a narrative that authentically resonates with me. I enjoy stretching the boundaries of beyond being a traditional gallery and find it most rewarding when this expansion pays off.
Has your creative practice changed since the pandemic?
The pandemic has made me relish my creative practice even more, made me and my team more nimble and proactive than ever. It’s also made me really grateful for the camaraderie of communicating with artists, being part of an evolving journey with each of them as well as the collectors and wider Saint Cloche community.
How do you stay focused on your goals and not dwell on obstacles in your path?
There’s a Zen proverb; ‘Obstacles don’t block the path. They are the path.’ I have focused goals in mind, but I’m also open to what life presents along the way. I’m not afraid of being challenged and quite enjoy rising to deal with them.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career? Did it pay off?
I think the biggest risk was leaving my previous career, where I was working for someone else and taking that leap of faith to open my own business and follow my passion to open an art gallery. Yes it has paid off on many levels and I’m enjoying the ride.
How has social media contributed to or influenced your success?
Social media plays a major role within the Saint Cloche community when it comes to marketing the business. Since the pandemic, it has been more important than ever. The boom in social media means that artists and galleries can communicate directly with their audience. Images and videos play a big part in helping to grow brand awareness and build conversations.