When she was in Year 6, Joanna Strumpf went on a school excursion to the now defunct Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane. The museum excursion, which featured work by the conceptual artist Peter Tyndall, had a profound effect on Joanna. It set her on a journey that resulted in Joanna, together with her business partner Ursula Sullivan, becoming two of Australia’s most proactive and successful art dealers and launching their own Sydney gallery, Sullivan+Strumpf.
Joanna is the first to admit that she isn’t a talented artist, “from the time I knew that my future was in art, I knew I wasn’t a good artist but I had a passion and the desire to succeed,” she says.
The decision to pursue a career in art was heavily influenced by her time at St Aidan’s, by the teachers and the then school Chaplain, Father Binns, whose zeal for art would inspire Joanna.
“It was incredibly forward thinking of the art department at St Aidan’s to arrange a school excursion to see a conceptual art exhibition. Later when the museum closed and the owners auctioned off the paintings I did buy some. It wasn’t until I had finished university and was earning money that I was finally able to buy my own Peter Tyndall,” she says.
Sullivan+Strumpf opened another gallery in Singapore in June 2016 and one in Melbourne in 2022.