Kathryn Lovric & Roger Allan: Scientific Minds - Art Collector

Issue 49, July - September 2009

The home of doctors Kathryn Lovric and Roger Allan is put together with almost scientific precision and forethought. Recently renovated, Carrie Miller discovered the entire apartment was designed around key pieces in their collection.

Wandering through the immaculate Sydney apartment of psychiatrist Dr Kathryn Lovric and her cardiologist husband Dr Roger Allan, what is striking is the seamless way the artworks fit with the interior of their home. This is no coincidence. When the couple renovated their apartment recently, they instructed their architect to take into account specific works when designing each room. Perhaps the true demonstration of just how passionate the couple are about their artwork was their determination that a subtle yet confronting Bill Henson photograph should hang in the bedroom directly opposite the bed. As Lovric says: “We told the architect where it was going and he designed the room around it.”

In a more general sense, one of the main design objectives of the renovations was to take the organic shapes of the Opera House, which can be seen from the balcony, and bring them inside, to literally reflect them in carefully placed mirrored surfaces and glass works, as well as to reflect them metaphorically with some of the artworks.

The result is a beautiful interior in which the artwork is in organic sync with the space it occupies. Yet while the space has been carefully thought out, the environment doesn’t feel contrived. This may be the result of clever design, but it is at least in part due to the eclectic nature of the couple’s art collection, which includes Robert Dickerson, Tracey Moffatt, Marion Borgelt and John Young. This eclectic approach springs from the nature of their relationship, which as Lovric explains “is a bit like a blended family, with second marriages, second art collections, plus the progeny of the new marriage. My husband and I have only been married for a couple of years and so we brought some of this ourselves and brought it into the relationship, and we’ve bought some of it together.”

Interestingly, although neither consciously collected according to an overarching thematic, on reflection Lovric, a former concert pianist, recognises that one has emerged, one reflected in the works on display in their home and which reflects their professional interests: “For the most part, the works reflect our interest in both art and science, the heart and the mind. And many of the works have a direct reference to science, the Helen Pynor for example, even the Marion Borgelt has got that organicity. I think that the John Youngs for me speak to a psychiatrist because there’s the underlying themes, the dynamics, the interpretative qualities and the same with the Henson, one can project oneself onto them and one can read aspects of oneself.”

In terms of their primary residence, the couple’s collection is now complete, at least for the moment, as they’ve simply run out of space. But they have recently purchased a farm on the New South Wales South Coast and already have plans that hint at the future direction of their collection: “What I’d really like to do is set up a sculpture garden,” says Lovric, “I think that’s the next thing we’d like to move into.”

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