Pushing boundaries through the art of Jealous.
How did the gallery get going?
Jealous opened in 2008, Dario Illari and Jacquie Ryle decided to open the Gallery and Print Studio after years of collecting prints themselves and being fascinated with screen-printing. Jealous North opened in Crouch End in September 2008, with the gallery at the front and the screen-print studio at the back.
Quite quickly, the print studio started spilling out into the gallery, so they moved across to Jealous East in Shoreditch, on the third floor of a building. Slowly we’ve taken over the whole building, with the Gallery on the ground floor and the studio occupying the first, second and third floors.
What is the spirit of Jealous?
Formally, we encourage experimental projects. In the studio we are known for saying yes, then working out how to do it practically after. We have screen-printed with mud, bacteria, Worcestershire sauce. We do love a challenge.
Likewise in the galleries we love to promote artwork we haven’t seen before, those artists that are challenging what contemporary art is and can be, especially those that take a risk and try something new.
What goes behind the selection process?
There’s a healthy mix of artists approaching us and us approaching artists. We’re very much a team, so when we see an artist we like we show it to everyone at Jealous to gauge their thoughts, if we all agree we invite that artist into our galleries and print studio.
We have open submission projects, whereby everyone and anyone is encouraged to apply, but we also really do love seeing artists' works and we do look at all the submissions we receive.
How are you supporting the art community?
'The Jealous Prize' is awarded to one MA Graduate each year from the major London Universities. The prize is a residency in our Print Studios, to make a fully funded edition with our experienced screen-printers, which is then launched in our galleries and at the London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy.
One print from each edition is also added to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Permanent Print Collection, who collect all of the winning editions. This is a fantastic platform for MA Graduates, who often graduate with the worry of what to do next.
The prize has grown in stature year on year and it’s fantastic that the V&A have supported us on a project which we really do hold close to our hearts. Our past winners have gone on to incredible things, and it’s wonderful for us to watch them grow.
Who have you been most excited to feature?
The list is too long and exhaustive! I was beyond excited to work with Margaret Calvert OBE on her first screenprint edition, she designed the road signs we use today and is a real icon. We just released a new edition by The Chapman Brothers and they always challenge our studio to create elaborate works which are so exciting to see come together.
We always love working with David Shrigley and recreating the painterly textures in his screen-prints. They shows the capabilities of screen-printing – it’s not always block colour and graphic.
Ally McIntyre is another exciting artist that I always love to work with, she was award the Jealous Prize in 2015 and we have since had numerous solo shows with her. It’s exciting to see how her practice has developed over the years.
What's been happening since COVID?
Jealous moved solely online during the current pandemic, but we’re set to reopen by appointment only from June 23rd. Thankfully, we had a website and had built our social media presence before the lockdown, so we’ve been making the most of it and making sure we always had something to post about to keep the gallery alive. But we didn’t go into the art world to live a sheltered life, so we’re all really looking forward to reopening our doors and seeing all our artists and visitors again!
What have you got scheduled for the future?
For the moment our exhibition schedule has been put on hold, but we’re looking forward to opening in the near-future a solo exhibition with Paul Davis, a solo show with Sarah Maple curated by Kate Bryan and a solo exhibition with Danny Augustine.
We’re hoping that the autumn art fairs will be able to go ahead, particularly the Woolwich Print Fair in November, which is quite a new fair but wonderful in that it’s all about print making and all its variations. It’s run by Jack and Lizzie, who are both so passionate it catches onto everyone who walks through the doors.
How do you think gallery spaces are going to evolve?
Aside from the obvious social distancing changes, I think that this is a moment for galleries to get creative, to change the way we do things but to make it interesting and fun for those that are able to visit in person. I think the digital-side will continue to grow and build, I’m hopeful that online viewing rooms will become more interesting.
At Jealous we have always championed collaborations, as a gallery which doesn’t represent artists, we collaborate with so many artists, museums, galleries and we hold that collaborative spirit so close. Now is a great time for galleries to drop their egos and to come together and make something spectacular.