Anita and Poju Zabludowicz
Anita Zabludowicz OBE was born and raised in Newcastle and as the daughter of an art historian she was immersed in art from a young age. She went on to study Fine Art & History of Art at the College of Arts and Technology in Newcastle and later moved to London to attend the Inchbald School of Design, studying interior architecture. She subsequently worked for 10 years in the field.
She and her husband, the Finnish-born British businessman Poju Zabludowicz, have four children and a passion for collecting art, with a specific focus on supporting and promoting the work of British artists and cultural institutions. While collecting began as an interest, Anita was inspired by the experimental nature of the art she was seeing in galleries, fairs and degree shows, and saw the need for crucial support and mentorship to a new generation of artists. To equip her with knowledge of the art market, Anita studied modern art and auctioneering at Christie’s and began building relationships with leading figures of the industry. Anita’s belief in emerging artists and her commitment to making art more accessible resulted in the formation of the permanent exhibition space in North London, opened to the public in 2007. Since then, the Collection has employed over 20 staff and supported hundreds of emerging artists and curators to provide invaluable opportunities for recognition and career development. Working alongside the brilliant team of colleagues at the Collection, Anita remains fully involved in the support of artists, acquisition of new works and development of the exhibition programme. Beyond the Zabludowicz Collection, Anita has built a large network of artists and art workers across the globe and set up several initiatives to establish new opportunities to create, curate and exhibit art. Together with Poju, the pair facilitate a successful artists’ residency in Finland where participants spend time engaging with the environment, undertake research and discussion and produce new work. Anita has served on the boards of both large and small public art institutions and has provided valuable financial support to a wide range of art organisations. This work as crucial to ensuring and protecting accessibility in the arts.
In 2015, Anita was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to the arts. This honour followed Anita’s role as Joint Chair of Trustees at The Legacy List, founded to deliver the legacy of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. The charity’s mission was to establish creative connections between the Park and people, engaging local communities to create new opportunities. Anita then became a Trustee of the merged charity, the Foundation for Future London, with an aim to develop a new cultural and university district at the Olympic Park and bring additional economic value to the area.
Anita has a deep appreciation of the history of art, imbued with an excitement for future possibilities. She is a strong advocate for the adoption of new technologies and champions innovation through digital art. This is demonstrated at the Zabludowicz Collection, where the 360 Virtual Reality Room became the first dedicated VR exhibition space in the UK, with free public access. She is also a founder and advisor of daata, a commercial and commissioning platform for artists working with digital mediums.
Poju Zabludowicz was born in 1953 in Helsinki, Finland, where he was schooled. He later graduated with a degree in Economics and Political Science from Tel Aviv University. Poju and his wife Anita opened the Zabludowicz Collection to the public in 2007 in order to facilitate projects with artists and curators both in the UK and overseas. Their programme has become known for risk-taking and ambitious commissions and exhibitions with artists at pivotal moments in their careers. From Andy Holden to Donna Huanca the projects they have commissioned have often proved seminal for the artist and they work tirelessly to engage new and professional audiences alike in the art they feel to be at the forefront of creative thinking.
Since 2010 the Collection has also invited artists to undertake residencies on the island of Sarvisalo, a small island off the coast of Poju’s native Finland. These informal residencies offer an open-ended and discursive environment for the production of art. Some artists produce works which remain in situ, or propose projects to be realised in the future, while others may work on research for future projects or collaborations.
Poju and Anita support a number of philanthropic activities and are active patrons and supporters of many UK and international art organisations, museums and institutions. Poju has led the global equity firm Tamares since 1990.