Profile: buying in to art

Jacqueline O’Donovan is managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal and a lover of art – equestrian art in particular.

Family owned and run O’Donovan Waste Disposal is one of London’s leading independent waste management companies. How do the two environments of equestrian art and waste disposal combine in the world of Jacqueline O’Donovan?

The answer to that first question, it seems, is quite straightforward: “They don’t!” Jacqueline grins.

Jacqueline O’Donovan

Jacqueline O’Donovan – managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal.

An interest in art was first sparked in Jacqueline in her studies when at school; she was influenced by art, painting and pottery in particular. Following the early and unexpected death of her father when she was age just 17 she, and her three older siblings, were left with the task of running the family business that her father had founded in 1959.

Within two years of her father’s death Jacqueline was MD of the firm with a turnover of £175,000. By 2016 she and her family had overseen a growth to £19m turnover and a workforce expanded to 160 people.

Clearly, achieving that level of progress takes a huge amount of ambition and focus, which leaves very little time for anything else – so how does Jacqueline find the art that she buys?

“A friend’s husband is also interested in art and she shares details of any up and coming auctions with me. However I don’t always get time to attend. I do get invited to quite a few previews and Private Views as well and go to as many as I can. That’s where a piece of work, or pieces, will catch my eye.

“I love a painting, in particular abstract – not defined. Ones where you can conclude the story that it’s portraying attract me, or ones that take you in particular directions so that your mind gets lost within it. This is what draws me to equestrian art as well. I love horseracing and horses so to see them in a painting brings the race and the racehorses to life. But nothing I buy is purchased with financial investment in mind – it’s pure passion.”

Jacqueline explains that she doesn’t follow specific artists so the background of a painter doesn’t knowingly influence her choices. Although on reflection she notes that she does have two pieces each from two equestrian artists.

“I put as much of the art that I buy up at home as possible so that I can appreciate it. I do also like to have a few around my office. Never once have I lost interest in a piece I have bought.” Jacqueline concludes: “When I buy art, it is for life!”

  • If you are interested in purchasing art, read our ‘Choosing art’ guide
  • Find out more about O’Donovan Waste Disposal…

O’Donovan Waste Disposal