Quake Inspires Judkin’s Art Sale

07 November 2013. The Press

Art collector and former sports entrepreneur Robin Judkins is downsizing his life and his art collection in an earthquake-inspired change of heart.

Judkins last month sold 47 Grahame Sydney artworks at a Christchurch auction for about $100,000 and plans to sell more next year. His collection contained more than 600 artworks at its peak, but he now owns about 300 works from 60 artists and plans to downsize.

”I have lost interest in having a very large collection of artwork,” he said. ”I’m bored with it. I have had a total change of priorities. Since the quake, I’ve gone through a process of getting rid of stuff. I’ve become a bit less interested in possessions.”

Judkins’ home in the hills above Sumner is due for demolition and he plans to rebuild on a smaller scale. At the moment he can hang about 150 artworks, but wants to streamline his collection.

The 64-year-old has been collecting art since he was 18. His collection of Sydney paintings is the product of a friendship with the artist over more than 40 years.

”I still have over half of them [the Sydney works] left.  I regret selling four of them. But I didn’t know that until I saw them sold,” he said.

Judkins sold his Coast to Coast sports event to Queenstown’s Trojan Holdings Limited in May.  The Sydney artworks were sold at the WT Macalister auction house in Christchurch on October 23.

Auction house managing director Toby Macalister said the auction was the most successful sale of Sydney’s [lithographs and etchings] work ever held.

This is the product of a friendship over five decades between an artist and a mad collector. The quakes really shook Robin up and he is looking at life with a different view. I think it is time to relax and do some travel and see his family,” he said.

Judkins sold the Sydney painting Night House II last year for about $160,000.

But Judkins is still interested in acquiring new works and has recently purchased pieces by local artists Gill Hay and Sam Harrison.

He is not sure which artworks he will sell next year.  ”I haven’t lost my absolute passion, but I’m not interested in owning thousands and thousands of works – there’s no more room at the inn.”