In the early 1970’s, Jennifer Guerrini Maraldi (nee Heathcote), 23 years old, became owner/director of the Powell Street Gallery in South Yarra, Melbourne.
With the help of a distinguished stable of artists, including Alun Leach-Jones, Victor Majzner, Fred Cress, Jenny Watson, Lesley Dumbrell, Inge King, David Wilson and Clive Murray –White, Powell Street Gallery was one of the most recognised and successful contemporary exhibiting galleries at the cutting edge of the Australian contemporary art scene.
Powell Street Gallery’s distinguished clientele included many high profile private collectors well as the National Gallery of Australia and most of the major State and Regional Galleries, all with active acquisition policies, rigorously purchasing the most exciting contemporary art of the times under Jennifer’s direction.
The present director of the National Gallery of Australia, Ron Radford, was at that time Director of the Ballarat Regional Art Gallery. He was one of many important relationships Jennifer forged in the Australian art world before moving to live in the United Kingdom in 1979.
After working in London in various fields, including fifteen years as a member of the permanent editorial staff of British “Country Life “magazine, Jennifer was lured back to the art world after being completely “blown away” by a collection of contemporary Australian indigenous paintings she had seen.
The relatively recent development and market prominence of contemporary indigenous painting and sculpture had been making news throughout Australia, but was little known in the UK.
While travelling in Australian in the early 1990’s, Jennifer and her husband, purchased a major work by Freddie Timms “Sugar Bag,” (acrylic on canvas, 180 x 230 cm) painted during Freddie’s time working with Frank Watters (Watters Gallery) in Sydney in the late 1990’s.
Living with this magical painting in their collection was the single catalyst for her to begin exhibiting and selling contemporary art in London in the new millennium.
Jennifer now travels to Australia each year visiting remote indigenous communities as well as seeing old friends including curators, collectors and artists.
Her work in the United Kingdom aims to establish a greater awareness of the best indigenous work and contribute to building a stronger market in the UK and Europe for ethically sourced, contemporary Australian indigenous, fine art.