Scott Weston: A Colourful Customer - Art Collector

Issue 50, October - December 2009

Colour and craftsmanship are fundamental to the collection of Sydneysider Scott Weston. An architect by trade, his obsession with detail and presentation is obvious to any visitor who steps through his softly closing front door, reports Helen McKenzie.

The front door of Scott Weston’s Sydney home is self-closing, a thoughtful touch given that visitors’ eyes have already begun to devour the surroundings. An architect and designer, Weston says “I love to bring clients to my home, not so much to say ‘this is what I can do for you’ but more for them to get a sense of me”. What a visit to Weston’s home might tell a client is that the man they are dealing with is a passionate perfectionist who is not afraid to marry a $65 koi carp print from a Cabramatta market with a Reuben Paterson work or an Ettore Sottsass Calimaco floor lamp.

Weston’s company commences each project with a maquette, or model, so clients can see the proposed building works and options in 3D. Weston says “it is a seductive working tool; educational for the clients and pragmatic for us to show builders”. It is not surprising that this dedication to detail in presentation is also represented in his collection.

One of Weston’s favourite pieces is a work by Di Holdsworth from Damien Minton Gallery. Weston explains: “It is a diorama of a ballerina on top of a French tobacco box. You wind up a mechanism and the ballerina dances; she is off-set so that it looks like she is cantilevered on a stage.” A Lizzie Buckmaster Dove Book Bird made from cut-outs from Tattler and Penthouse magazines and two knitted and mounted pieces by Jenny Soo called Mother and Daughter also have the “handmade sensibility” that Weston admires.

C3PONavratalova by Tim Moore, a work embroidered on Italian linen, has similar virtuosity. “I have to connect in some passionate way,” says Weston. “I will buy something because it is witty or quirky, or a beautiful idea or statement.”

Weston would probably say that his favourite work is by New Zealand artist, Reuben Paterson. He is intrigued by the “idea of making something out of glitter and of making sure it will last a lifetime. How did he technically do it? It is amazing.”

If craftsmanship is one of the components of the Weston collection then the other clear criteria is colour. Weston’s latest purchase is a vividly colourful work by doctor-turned-painter Julian Meagher from a recent exhibition at Chalk Horse. “His studies are of body parts, with tattoos,” says Weston, “the one I have is of the back of a Japanese lady, it is really beautiful.”  

In conversation it is clear that colour holds a fascination for Weston; he talks of Hermes orange, Tiffany blue, Madame Pompadour pink. In project consultations, he asks clients to give him samples of their favourite colours in whatever form they choose – a shoe, a scarf or a necklace might then become the starting point for a palette discussion. “We do have ‘beige’ clients and we deal with their needs for neutral tones; but they may find when they open a kitchen cupboard fuchsia pink lining or a vivid turquoise blue inside the bathroom drawers.”  

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