| Art, Features

Hanging Offence: Jessica Phillimore

Jessica Phillimore, Founder & Director of Dellasposa Gallery speaks to Trebuchet.

Currently celebrating their fifth anniversary in their West London location, Dellasposa Gallery is run by husband and wife team Jessica and Julian Phillimore. With a specialisation in modern masters and contemporary they have held a host of dynamic exhibitions from 2020’s Tales from the Colony Room to this months Printed Perspectives, a collection of works by Modern British artists.

Here Jessica Phillimore sits down with Trebuchet to discuss her love of art, steering Dellasposa through Covid and Brexit, and the joys of running a gallery a couple.

What first drew you to art?

I have always been surrounded by art with artists and artworks in my family. Art is, and always has been, an extension of who I am. I grew up in Australia, so I tend to have an outsider’s perspective. A great deal of my knowledge was ingrained by travelling to museums and galleries around the world – almost akin to a pilgrimage – before I went to university.

How did your gallery start?

We both studied art history at university and worked in galleries before opening our own. When we met, we never thought we would be doing what we do now together. Prior to Dellasposa, I specialised in blue-chip works by modern masters, while Jules’ background was more classical, having worked at The Frick in New York. Dellasposa has organic origins – we curated one exhibition, and from there, another followed, and so on.

What’s been your biggest challenge since starting Dellasposa?

There have been challenges since the beginning. We opened at the worst time in the art market. We didn’t get much chance to establish our gallery before we went into numerous lockdowns. For this reason, we have tended to have an expansive outlook by working outside a traditional gallery model and being more diverse in our services. The impact of Covid and Brexit entailed we be nimble and light on our feet. 

Printed Perspectives, Dellasposa Gallery, 2023

What’s been your biggest success?

Being the master of one’s fate – achieving what I set out to do professionally and personally from a young age – is my most significant success. I recently had a baby, so raising him to be a happy and healthy person is foremost part of our future success. 

Who are five current artists you think are ones to watch?

Some of my personal favourites include Flora Yukhnovich, Tahnee Lonsdale, Antony Micallef, Alicia Paz, and Maggi Hambling. As an aside, it’s important to consider artists who may have been overshadowed in history, too – since there still exists a great disparity in the representation of women in the art market – we like to look at the likes of Sonia Delaunay, for example, or Barbara Kruger among many others.

Which artists typify the vision you have for the gallery?

We deal with artworks both on the primary and secondary market. We have works by 20th-century modern masters through to emerging and blue-chip contemporary artists working in a multitude of mediums, from painting, photography, and sculpture to printmaking. Whether an artist is emerging or well-established, we find having shared values and a sincere appreciation for one another’s work is a good foundation to start from. 

What is it like running a gallery as a couple? 

One of the benefits is that we both share a passion for art. This shared interest enhances our personal and professional lives, creating a strong bond as we pursue a common goal. Respecting each other’s respective roles and finding a balance between work and life is essential – the important thing is to set time aside so as not to always talk about work.

What does the future hold for Dellasposa? 

We are becoming more dynamic regarding the art advisory services we offer our clients and the external projects and exhibitions we have in development. 

Featured Image: Julian and Jessica Phillimore, 2023, Credit: Imagethirst.
Printed Perspectives, works of Modern British Artists on paper and in print, is on view until the 5th of January 2024 at Dellasposa Gallery.

Read more curator interviews
in the hanging offence series


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