START Co-Founder and
Chairman Parallel Contemporary Art
START Co-Founder and
CEO Parallel Contemporary Art
David and Serenella Ciclitira are passionate collectors of contemporary art and are dedicated supporters of young and emerging artists and art scenes globally.
A year after a (2007) business trip to Karlsruhe, Germany where David and Serenella attended an art exhibition; Termocline of Art: New Asian Waves which left the couple with a thirst to learn more about the Asian contemporary art scene but were thwarted by a lack of material on the subject, they founded (2008); the Global Eye programme, in order to provide artists with the platforms, support and recognition they need to develop their careers.
The lack of material on the subject of Asian Contemporary Art led Serenella to write her first of eight art books including; Korean Eye published in 2009. (Indonesian Eye (2011), Korean Eye 2 (2012), Hong Kong Eye (2013), Malaysian Eye (2014), Singapore Eye (2015), Thailand Eye (2016) Vietnam Eye (2017).
Unsatisfied with just a book and a desire to introduce the western world to Asian Contemporary Art the Ciclitiras, together with the Saatchi Gallery, presented a show entitled Korean Eye. The two-week show was so well received it won international acclaim and ran for four months instead of the scheduled two weeks.
To date there have been eighteen EYE exhibitions, including London, Seoul, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong Bangkok, Hanoi, Abu Dhabi and New York. The Korean Eye exhibition at Saatchi Gallery coincided with 2012 London Olympic Games; with over 500,000 visitors in two months it remains Saatchi’s most successful to date.
START, was founded in 2014 to present undiscovered emerging contemporary artists from around the globe on a world-class stage in central London. START Art Fair is arguably the only commercial fair of its type to actively support emerging artists.
This year (2018) START will celebrate its fifth edition and 2019 will see the 10th Anniversary of the EYE Programme. In the 2018 START Art Fair catalogue you will find four success stories featuring a START contributor from each past edition. START 2019 will include a celebration EYE Programme retrospective and a new Eye book edited by Serenella covering the last 10 years.
Since 1990 David and Serenella have presented two annual awards at the Royal College of Art, London, The Parallel Prize for painting and the Serenella Ciclitira Scholarship for sculpture. David and Serenella are both Honorary Fellows of the Royal College of Art.
CEO Saatchi Gallery and START Co-Founder
Nigel Hurst is Gallery Director and Chief Executive of the Saatchi Gallery in London. He graduated from Goldsmiths College, London University in 1986 and since then has curated numerous international exhibitions. He joined the Saatchi Gallery as a curator in 1997, working on Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts London, The National Galerie Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin and The Brooklyn Museum of Art New York.
More recent exhibitions have focused on Asian contemporary art, including The Revolution Continues: New Art from China (2008), Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East (2009), The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today (2010) and The Silk Road in collaboration with the City of Lille, France (2011). He has also been a member of The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Public Art Advisory Board since 2009
Minh worked as Event Coordinator for Vietnam Eye, the eight project in the Global Eye Program initiated and implemented by Parallel Contemporary Art and Saatchi Gallery, in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2016. He joined START in 2017 as part of the execution team for “Vietnam Eye: Blood, Sweats, and Tears”, a special curated project for the fourth edition of START. He is currently exhibitor liaison for START 2018 and manages social media activities for the fair.
Coordinator & Press
+44 (0) 7500 041 058
Antonia joined the START Team in 2016, she works closely with Co- Founders David and Serenella Ciclitira and Saatchi CEO Nigel Hurst presenting exhibitor applications for the Select Committee and is the number one go-to person for operations and partners. Working together with Minh Ngo and Serenella Ciclitira she co-authors the START catalogue annually.
Antonia has a first class honours degree in Art History from the University of Nottingham and a Masters degree in Contemporary Chinese Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Samir joined START in late 2017 as Development Director. Samir’s main focus at START is gallery sales, management and relationship building.
On joining he set up and helped launch START Collectors Club (CC). The CC hosts monthly dinners for START exhibitors, collectors, sponsors, influencers and press. Samir also introduced a new Patron Scheme bringing START its first annual art patron, Mr Utsava Kasera. This unique scheme has been devised to support talented artists from around the globe.
He is very committed about empowering artists and collectors to meet and communicate by creating a direct bridge between these components of the art industry in order to bring to a global stage emerging artists and emerging art scenes from around the world, the vision and ambition that START Art Fair also promotes.
Partnership & VIP Director
Gillian joined START in 2018 to take on the newly created role of Partnership Director. Gillian is responsible for forming and developing Corporate Partnerships, co-developing the START Collectors Club, co-ordinating dinners and events as well as cultivating VIP and Patron relationships.
Gillian had previously worked as Head of Corporate Partnerships at the prestigious Serpentine Galleries, Kensington Gardens a position which allowed her to indulge her love of art and architecture while delivering and developing high-value partnerships with diverse international businesses and luxury brands. In 2017 Gillian consulted for Sir John Soane’s country estate Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing, she has also consulted for education initiative Access Aspiration which provided essential access to industry work experience to schools in under-privileged London boroughs.
Before falling into the world of contemporary art, heritage and education sponsorship Gillian had her own antiques, art and interiors business with retail sites in Belsize Park, Primrose Hill and Mayfair, she has designed interiors for bars, restaurants and private homes for a range of clients. During her time in the retail luxury market Gillian’s shops attracted scores of international A-list celebrities who became loyal and treasured clients. In tandem with her retail business she worked for ITV and the Discovery Channel.