Gareth Colliton is creating new creative dreams for Port Fairy

Visionary: Port Fairy's Wishart Gallery owner Gareth Colliton says while he's best known for his artistic talents, the self-confessed foodie "makes the best macaroni and cheese this side of Paris".
Visionary: Port Fairy's Wishart Gallery owner Gareth Colliton says while he's best known for his artistic talents, the self-confessed foodie "makes the best macaroni and cheese this side of Paris".

GARETH COLLITON is one of four brothers born and raised in a home that doubled as an antique shop in Hamilton.

He and his siblings took on a new challenge, opening the Wishart Gallery in Port Fairy last year. Combining their love of antiques, Australian art, pizza and beer, the quartet are hoping to create a unique, fun and interesting cultural hub in the town’s centre.

What do you most love about Port Fairy? I love Port Fairy's natural setting, and the pride in its heritage. It's so nice to be in a town centre with no fast food joints, pokies or multinational franchises.

Describe Port Fairy in five words: History, Culture, Festivity, Community, Maritime. Where do you see Port Fairy in 20 years? I hope Port Fairy is much the same in 20 years as it is today only with more art in the streets.

What is your favourite holiday destination? Holidays are great in other countries but I really love our own backyard too. Canoeing and camping on the Glenelg River, caving in Naracoorte or hiking along the Great South West Walk are some of my favourite things to do.

If you had a million dollars what would you do with it? I'd probably set up a creative maker's space. I think that's the next thing our region needs.

What career did you want to pursue when you were a teenager? As a teen, I was really interested in film. I did work experience on Romper Stomper and Spotswood which starred Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins, but the days were long and boring for the most part. The glamour quickly wore off. I still like to dabble with animations, and have helped put together a few film festivals.

What is something people might not know about you? People are never surprised to hear that I'm an artist, no matter how normal I try to look, but they're always amused to discover that I was once a security guard. It's still my favourite job ever. I looked after the Royal Academy of Arts and NBC London at night. It was pretty much exactly like Night at the Museum.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given? Dad always said that if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly, and Mum always had us play Pollyanna's Glad Game if things were a bit grim. They have stuck with me over the years.