05-08 September 2024
05-08 Sept 2024


Conversation With Gallerist, James Kerr from Jennings Kerr

We spoke with Gallery Director, James Kerr from Jennings Kerr to talk about their presentation for Sydney Contemporary 2023.

The gallery is located in Robertson, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, can you elaborate on its location and why you chose to open here?

This is a small country town bordered by farmlands. We decided to open here, as the area has a great creative community with many talented artists living in the region as well as some very engaged collectors. The town has a lovely pace to it and the visitation is strong with travellers from all over Australia as well as people using the road to access the coast, Kangaroo Valley, and other neighbouring areas. We have been pleased with the location and it is a more enjoyable commute than previous posts.


What are some career highlights, or exhibition highlights in the gallery to date?

As a young gallery in its first two years of operation, we are very excited to take part in the fair for the first time and hopefully grow this part of our program. It has been a privilege to work with so many talented artists so far and we have been pleased to provide the platform to local artists while also bringing three shows from overseas to Robertson this year. We have had a series of work by Welsh painter Catrin Llywd, a solo show by Japanese painter Miho Ichise, as well as a solo show coming over from Harry Martin’s studio in London. I guess the career highlights would be having been able to work with so many wonderful artists and support their vision and ideas.

What was your first exhibition, and why? 

Our first exhibition happened in 2021 and was a little interrupted by Covid at the time. It was a group show of work with many friends works as well as some new work for the program. We were pleased to launch the gallery in this way and had excellent feedback on the show. It was a good bridging show, from my previous role and into our new gallery program. We look back fondly on how we launched and on what we have been able to program since.


Who are you bringing to Sydney Contemporary and why?

We are bringing a two-person presentation to Sydney Contemporary. We will exhibit a new series of large-scale colour field painting by Tanya Wales. These minimal poured acrylic paintings are serene spaces to get lost in their tonal depth. The expanses of colour are controlled in very sophisticated interlacing of layers, some more active than others but all very much expressed with elegance. The pieces are calming and soft in what can often be an environment that works can compete and cancel out. We have opted for slow, soft, quiet and still and Wales will be very much complimented by the formal ceramic practice of Julie Pennington. Pennington through a balance of classical vessel forms and expanded construction ideologies is able to create exquisite and detailed pieces that offer no place to conceal error. Through revealing building techniques, Pennington creates pieces that look to architecture in nature as well as sequencing and pattern. We are very excited to present both of the artists at the fair for the first time.

All exhibition views, photography by Ashley Mackevicius.

Portrait by Ashley Mackevicius

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