Elana Brundyn tells us what she has learnt
the collector, uber gallerist and art-world power player
the most valued virtue i have learnt is having patience.
Feeling impatient is not an automatic emotional response; it involves conscious thoughts and beliefs. Patience is linked to self-control and consciously trying to regulate our emotions. Working with creative beings such as artists and curators, first as a commercial gallerist and now as a museum director, I had to learn and to trust the natural rhythm of creation.
Know that philanthropy is an attitude
and it is not the same as charity. Charity focuses on eliminating the suffering caused by social problems. Philanthropy focuses on eliminating the social problem. I have learnt you don’t have to be wealthy to be a philanthropist. Many people, who are not rich, do a lot of good with the little they give. I am inspired by the quiet philanthropist who wants to improve the wellbeing of humankind.
Beauty and perfection is boring.
These notions of beauty and perfection have been redefined in contemporary art. Perfection is not attainable, and the pursuit of it makes us boring. It is our differences, our weaknesses, and our imperfections that connect us to humanity.
Cultural platforms, such as museums, are the cathedrals of our time. they have a soft, influencing power.
The more I witness this power daily, the more I am aware that the need for art has never been greater, for art can lift us, tell us who we are, who we’ve been and who we can be. art is a force for goodness. art changes lives.
it is the little things that matter the most.
It’s not the big wins that really count. It’s the accumulation of little things and quiet moments.
Action beats angst.
action is the cure for worry and stress. I think that we all have a certain anxiety about our – and our children’s – future. But by doing one small thing to improve the future you will create a momentum that leads to something valuable – or at the least healing.
from left: elana brundyn; the norval foundation, for which elana is the executive director, is now open