VAULT spoke to designer Shareen Joel about how collecting art is intrinsically tied to her family and her instinct for interiors.
Shareen Joel is an interior architect and industrial designer known for her clean lines and natural textures. With her firm Shareen Joel Design, she’s worked with brands like Seafolly, Country Road and Witchery, as well as designing interiors for homes. She also runs design website Sharedesign.com. Joel’s collection is personal and ever-expanding. Art is everywhere in her Melbourne family home – where she lives with her husband and two children – and the family’s Sorrento beach house. An eclectic list of names builds over the course of our chat, including Guy Maestri, Gemma Smith, Robert Owen, Nicholas Harding, Laura Jones and Colin Pennock. When we speak, she’s awaiting delivery of her latest purchase, a Tomislav Nikolic in transit from Berlin.
Can you tell me a bit about your ethos as a collector?
Well, I don’t call myself a collector at all. I don’t do it as an investment. I certainly hope that what I buy isn’t worth nothing tomorrow, but I don’t do it for that. I just buy what I love, what complements the rest of my home, and my clients’ homes.
How did you start out buying art?
It was my 18th birthday. My girlfriends bought me a Mike Green from Realities Gallery. My parents bought me a matching one. That was the first piece I ever owned, that I chose. I’ve been collecting ever since.
What do you look for in a new piece?
Something that sings to me. Something that has movement and texture. I go towards texture, like impasto painting. It’s predominantly abstract. I tend to go for smaller works that I can put together as a little story. I have quite a few like that, alongside a handful of larger works.