Jasmine Rose Neal has curated shows all over Europe while consulting for London galleries, assisting with their artist liaison. She is now bringing her talents home to Jersey and opening her first gallery. Becky caught up with her to learn more.

 “I felt it was time. Now or never!” She tells us, “I have great collectors in Jersey so I need a space to be able to properly present work to them.” With the grand opening on the horizon, September 8th in fact, we chatted to Jasmine about Jaro’s journey and what we can look forward to seeing when the gallery’s doors are swung open.

How did you become interested in collecting and curating art?

Having studied interior architecture at university I always thought I would go into property development and interior design, but after having children I had time to realise that art is what speaks to me the most. I have always loved art, both creating and studying it, but I also have a passion for numbers and business. My father is an art collector, so it’s just always been something I’ve witnessed, loved and been inspired by. 

How many artists do you represent and can you tell us about a few of them?

The gallery currently represents eight emerging artists both local and European. It also exhibits well-known established artists on the secondary market.

The first artist we represented was Bluntroller who originates from Jersey. He’s been exhibited in shows in several leading European public galleries including Saatchi and Quantus Gallery and his work is well-known within the street-art community. Our working partnership has been a great learning experience and he’s now established in many leading collections. We sold out our first solo exhibition together in Switzerland 5 years ago and have continued to work closely together ever since. His work is now highly appreciated by collectors and a waiting list exists for his work. We’re hoping to complete a major public commission piece in the near future.  

My other locally-recruited artist is Sally Weekes who has yet to exhibit in Jersey. She is love, nature, tears and happiness all wrapped up and painted on to specially sourced pieces of wood. The emotions that her work conjures up and seeing how blown away people are when I introduce her work to new clients is simply breathtaking.  Her subject matter is vast and random so there is something for everyone. Her work is the antidote to all modern developments of AI art and cannot be recreated. Sally draws inspiration from the wood and by enhancing what is already there in nature she creates masterpieces, often with historically important references.  Her technique can also be applied to custom interiors, boats and planes. Before having children she worked for Jaguar, Liberty of London and a handmade kitchen company based in Knightsbridge. Similarly to Bluntroller, Sally needed assistance in connecting her work to clients and developing her portfolio. Working with them both has been such a pleasure and I get so much from seeing them succeed and grow. 

Juliya Delani is a new artist to us whose work is highly sought after with over 15 international sell out exhibitions. We met in Geneva where she had recently moved following the war in her home country of Ukraine. A percentage of the proceeds from her Jersey exhibition will be going to help displaced children in her hometown and support them with education and child-care. Juliya works with mixed media, primarily acrylic on canvas, to create abstract representations of her reality. These large atmospheric paintings are up for personal interpretation and I personally believe they would make a beautiful statement in any home be it modern or traditional.

Mr. Controversial has been mentioned as the one to watch when it comes to rising artistic talent in the UK. He is hot off the back of sell out exhibitions and collections and I am extremely excited to introduce him to the jersey market on September 22nd when the exhibition starts. Known for his twist of vintage imagery with funny, relatable captions he will be showcasing his new typographical oil paintings which are equally as bold, witty and riddled with truesims that we can all relate to. Due to the sharable nature of his work it often goes viral and I think he hits the sweet spot between social media viral content and contemporary fine art. We’re working on a few unique pieces that I am sure my clients and visitors will love.

Why did you choose Jersey as the location to open your new gallery?

Given my life situation with my children, my clients and also the artists I represent there is nowhere better. And I want to contribute to getting our local talent recognised internationally. Alongside the Jersey gallery I am also opening one in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where many of my clients are based and I will continue with the European pop-ups as well as working with London based galleries. This means that my Jersey clients can rest assured that these artists are being well-promoted and that their value will continue to increase. 

What will your first exhibition be about?

Ooooh… It’s a good one! I needed to start strong and I really want to inspire my existing clients while also showing new people and those who maybe don’t know much about art yet that art can be epically mood enhancing and empowering. It will focus on strong, beautiful women with a slightly dark twisted humour.

What advice would you give to a first-time collector?

To put it simply I have 3 types of clients. The first are collectors who are people that buy art that they like while being mindful of the market and picking pieces that will hopefully hold their value. The second are investors who are building portfolios of works that are not necessarily to display but are purely for investment purposes. The third are novices and probably my favourite type of client as they are people who don’t think they know much about art but who are attracted to something for a certain unknown reason. Within this category I would also insert those who just want something aesthetically pleasing for a certain room in their house to help create the home they desire. I work closely with many interior designers to source or commission paintings to this effect.  

So, my advice to a first time collector would be to buy a piece of work that makes you feel something because to me that’s everything. If they then decide that they have an interest I can work with them and help manage their portfolio for investment. Always buy with your eye, and don’t hesitate to be courageous.

Are there any exhibitions at the moment that you would recommend?

I’m always a big fan of the classics which can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery, The Tate or the Wallace Collection in London. These big galleries can be a bit overwhelming though and so I often find I get more from popping in and just looking at a few paintings and spending time learning about them as opposed to staring blankly at hundreds of paintings with little to no context. I also admire Larry Gagosian and see him as a mentor. If you’re ever in a city where he has a gallery then I would highly recommend visiting it as he really is at the forefront of the global art market and has, in my opinion, the best modern artists on his books.

What future development plans do you have for your gallery?

Everything develops so quickly and I never anticipate directions or events. I just want my artists to be happy and my clients to be inspired. I hope to have placed more emerging artists’ works within the leading collections in Jersey and to have introduced my love of art to some new faces.

What shows have we got to look forward to? 

I plan on exhibiting a mixture of local and international, commercial and established investment grade artists. I want to inspire my clients and the curation is one of my favourite elements as it enables me to take people on a journey. We also have a non-commercial exhibition of historical and educational importance to Jersey. This is slightly different for me but I’m excited by the challenge and I think it gives a lot of context to everything else that I will be putting on. This was something that Jersey Heritage wanted to put on but unfortunately weren’t able to. There will also be installation art, workshops and artist talks so there is space for everyone to get involved.

Jaro Gallery at Number One York Street in St. Helier from 8th September. Public welcome from 5-8pm. 

  @Jasmine.rose.noel  / www.jaro.je

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