I-MAGAZINE Interviews Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi of JGM Gallery on Collecting Contemporary Art

Australian-born Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi is the founder of JGM Gallery, the London-based leading specialist in contemporary British & Australian Aboriginal art.

JGM Gallery offers a rolling calendar of exhibitions throughout the year. The gallery is in Battersea, next to the Royal College of Art.

Jennifer’s art career started in her hometown of Melbourne, where she was owner and Director of Powell Street Gallery. Moving to London, she went into luxury fashion, and then joined the editorial staff of Country Life magazine writing on fashion and travel. She set up JGM Art in 2007, extending to JGM Gallery in 2017.

Why is art important for you?

Art fundamentally feeds the soul, awakens emotions and engages our senses.

Artwork brings life and colour to our living spaces. Today, we are all more aware of the need to enhance our home environment after the long pandemic lockdowns, and realise that living with art lifts the spirit.

What type of contemporary art does JGM Gallery offer?

Contemporary British art and Australian indigenous abstract art including paintings, sculpture, carvings, ceramics and limited-edition prints. The size of works range from 15cm square to monumental paintings of 4 x 3 m. Prices at JGM Gallery range from £150 to £50,000.

The late Robert Hughes said Indigenous Australian art was the “greatest art movement of our times”.   Why is aboriginal art so unique for you?

We are talking fine art not to be confused with “souvenir shop” art.

I discovered my passion for this art when we purchased a work by the late Freddie Timms in Sydney about 30 years ago. It was a seminal moment as this large painting arrived in our London house – it was like being “struck by lightning” – the painting was so powerful and almost haunting like a message or catalyst to discover more about this incredible art movement. Australian Indigenous art has a special dimension that manifests with understanding how and where this work is made. Every artwork has a story that derives directly from traditional aboriginal culture

There is a fascinating history of the way this contemporary art movement developed from an initiative in a small central desert community fifty years ago. Once you connect with this Aboriginal art that importantly goes hand in hand with Aboriginal culture, it is easy to become hooked, like the American actor/comedian Steve Martin. Martin now boasts one of the finest and most diverse collection of Indigenous Australian art in the world.

How does contemporary British art connect with contemporary aboriginal art?

When I opened JGM Gallery in 2017 with an exhibition of natural ochre works by indigenous artist, Kittey Malarvie I felt strongly that Australian aboriginal artists should not be isolated and viewed as a separate art category. This art should be shown on an international stage as contemporary art and exhibited alongside the work of British and international artists.

You have a luxury fashion background. How does fashion connect with art?

I do have a fashion background and a keen appreciation for art and beautiful things generally.

I grew up with a very stylish mother and father and a childhood surrounded by fashion and art and I believe both relate to personal identity. A sense of fashion develops in a similar way to an awareness and appreciation of contemporary fine art and I love to be immersed in both areas in everyday life.

The rest of this interview will be published at a later date.

JGM Gallery

24 Howie Street, Battersea, London SW11 4AY

Gallery +44 (0) 207 228 6027 www.jgmgallery.com