The Director of three galleries in central London and New York, Rebecca Hossack was born in Melbourne in 1955. Following degrees in Law and in History of Art, Hossack studied at Christie's and at The Guggenheim in Venice. She set up her own gallery in Windmill Street, Fitzrovia, in March 1988. (She signed the lease only three days before the great stock-market crash on 'Black Monday'). Hossack's business, despte the economic climate, has not only survived, but thrived. In 2007 she moved the main London gallery to a three-storey building in 2a Conway Street, off Fitzroy Square, while keeping a second space at nearby 28 Charlotte Street. From 1993-7, Hossack served as the Australian cultural attaché in London, initiating literary links between Australian and British writers and organising a series of exhibitions of Australian art in London. Her 'unworthy predecessor' Sir Les Patterson saluted her as 'one beaut sheila'. Hossack's portrait was included in Australians, an exhibition of photographs by Polly Borland at the National Portrait Gallery (with an accompanying book) celebrating 'the contributions of 55 famous Aussie "ex-pats". Hossack sits on the board of LAPADA and is a Trustee of Resurgence, the periodical of alternative thought. Hossack was the first Conservative Councillor in Bloomsbury for over 20 years, during which time she ran the New York Marathon to raise £20,000 to plant trees in central London. She also writes regularly in the national press and lectures internationally on Aboriginal art as part of NADFAS, the National Association of Decorative and Fine Art Societies, an international organisation with around 450 local societies and 80,000 members across the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. She has worked closely with the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Horniman Museum and the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Hossack also campaigns to preserve rock art in Western Australia’s Burrup peninsula.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Riding my bicycle. It is green and my only form of transport.
Which living person do you most admire?
Pat Lowe. A wonderful writer who lives in a small town in Australia. She married the Aboriginal artist Jimmy Pike and was with him until his death. She is kind, thoughtful, observant, clever and very, very modest. And she knows where to find the nest of a bowerbird!
What is your greatest extravagance?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
What is your current state of mind?
I find it almost impossible to be mindful. I cannot stop thinking, even when I am very tired.
Which talent would you most like to have?
To have a really good understand of biology.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
I love words and I wish we had not diminished the vocabulary of daily intercourse to such platitudes.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I never think about achievement. I just work as hard as I can, and I hope to do so until I die.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
A Koala Bear. I love trees, and I love sitting in them. I can think of nothing nicer than sitting in a gum tree and watching the creatures of the Australian bush go about their diurnal business.
Where would you most like to live?
I travel all over the world and am seldom in the same place for more than a week. So, I kind of feel like the world is my lobster! But I would like to live in a tree house in the bush.
What is your most treasured possession?
A tin mermaid, given to me by my friend Mathias Kauage, a wonderful artist from Papua New Guinea. It started my obsession with mermaids.
What is your favorite occupation?
Watching TV and eating pizza.
Who are your favorite writers?
My husband, the writer Matthew Sturgis. He has just written the definitive biography of Oscar Wilde.
What is your motto?
Work hard and be nice to people.