AWITA

SPOTLIGHT: KATE MCMILLAN

JAB174__3831.JPG

Tell us about a woman, well-known or not, whom you admire and why.

I didn't have a lot of immediate role models growing up, but I learned to identify the lessons people around me could offer. As an adult, I have been surrounded by incredible women. The first person was Probably Professor Sarah Miller, then Director of the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, who has informally mentored me since my early twenties. She taught me how to stand up to the art world.

What advice would you give to women starting in the art world?

Find a way (normally financially) just to stick at it; longevity counts. Find your story, and use it to steer your moral compass.

Which 3 qualities do you think one must have to succeed?

Persistence (especially for women where careers take off over 50!); the ability to balance diplomacy with a desire for critical change; hard work framed with a good plan.

Which female artist, living or dead, would you invite to a fantasy dinner party and why?

Eva Hesse. She was the only artist I identified with as a young art student - my lifeboat in an art history sea full of men. I would love to know what she would have made next, had she lived to be an old wise woman.

Do you collect art?

Yes, on a budget! Almost exclusively women; my favourites are a set of Cornelia Parker photographs, a painting by Aimee Parrot and a photograph by Ulla von Brandenburg. We also have an odd collection of first nation artefacts which we intend to repatriate back, many hundreds of fat lava pots from West Germany and of course 'failed' (unsold) works belonging to my partner and I.