The Matthew Couper and Jo Russ Collection

Prologue: The Matthew Couper and Jo Russ Collection introduces us, as the current residents of Tylee Cottage, to the Wanganui public who visit the Sarjeant Gallery. The work we collect reflects our interests, what we do and the culture we are a part of. Many of these works have been ‘swapped’ or gifted by artists we know. We have studied with many of these people or become friends with them. Others have simply inspired us with their work.

Both of us had been collecting art before we met four years ago, and since then have acquired works we both relate to. We have interspersed some of our own works in this show to illustrate connections between these artists and our personalart practices.

Exhibiting the artworks we have collected over the past ten years in the Sarjeant Gallery is akin to finally seeing the wood for the trees. Our collection has, over the years, been transported from flat to flat, hung in every available space, loaned out to friends and relatives, swapped and traded, laid safe and sound in folders or tucked into heavy books. Now that we are here in Wanganui, we are very happy to be able show a large part of it in this beautiful gallery space.

Matthew Couper and Jo Russ