In this new series, we're shining a light on our generous giving community – inviting our Kotahi whānau across the country to tell us how and why they give to the arts.
Tell us a bit about you?
I'm Toss Grumley, a father, Business Advisor and company Director. I currently work full time as an advisor at Wolf+Fox and also sit on the boards of Emma Lewisham Skincare, Nook Homes, Powerhouse Digital & Youth Arts New Zealand. I grew up in Grey Lynn and currently reside not too far away in Herne Bay, Auckland.
Why do you give to the arts? And in what ways?
I think it's important to support the arts to keep them vibrant and sustainable, it's an important part of our fabric as a society and provides people an important outlet and sense of connection.
I sit on the board of Youth Arts New Zealand and also give to organisations such as The Arts Foundation, Auckland Art Gallery Foundation and have sponsored a school through Duffy Books In Homes for the last six years. I also do my best to purchase as much art as I can which helps fill my cup daily getting to interact with it as well as supports the artists and greater ecosystem.
What was the first creative experience that turned the light on for you?
I was lucky enough to be taken around art galleries and to Muka shows as a child. The experience at Muka of choosing a work, connecting with it and then later on researching and learning more about the artists has developed into an ongoing passion of mine.
Since childhood I've also been an avid reader and I believe this had a huge impact on my formative years and also my life today. Certain works of literature have had a positive influence on my life and thinking.
What do the arts give you?
Amazing interactions! It's been wonderful connecting with the arts scene and engaging with artists, gallerists, collectors and patrons who all share a passion for the same thing. Hearing people's journeys and stories of the things they have learned or experiences and adventures they have had through the arts is fantastic.
I also have a collection that gives me connection and comfort in my space and allows me to be more creative and inspired in my life.
1. Toss in front of Stephen Bambury 'Melancholia (Durer)' & Max Gimblett 'String Of Pearls'
2. John Pule 'Begin Here', Ralph Hotere 'Requiem', Fiona Pardington 'Moa Bone', Alberto Garcia Alvarez 'Le-Panto-001', Richard Lewer 'Please Come Down From The Cross', Fiona Pardington 'The Mountain' and Richard Killeen 'Snake Pot'
3. Gretchen Albrecht 'Moons First Quarter', Milan Mrkusich 'Untitled' and Joe Sheehan Volume 3, The Quick & The Dead #149 and Bracelet & Key
4. Joe Sheehan 'Nirvana 20', Gordon Walters 'Untitled - Interlocking Forms' & Bill Culbert 'Opaque Red Tops'