Sydney-based curator and gallerist Jerico Tracy has made a career out of art, but it’s equally central to her life when she’s off-duty. As the founder of Jerico Contemporary, she runs a gallery space in the inner-city suburb of Woolloomooloo, works with both emerging and established artists, and advises individuals and companies on how to go about building their own art collections. (Her best advice to aspiring collectors: just start. “Buy one piece that you love and start building your collection around that work, no matter how small. You should consider each piece you purchase with the intention of building a collection in mind. This doesn’t mean that each piece has to be the same medium or subject matter, merely that you should consider that they will coexist in your home.”)
Her own apartment – which she shares with fiancé Andrew Spence and their pet rabbit Nyima – is a testament to this philosophy. Paintings, photography and sculpture all coexist beautifully, and their coherent outlook instils a sense of calm, while also giving the eye plenty to enjoy.
How have you approached your interior style?
Our interior style is quite pared-back and minimal, as our home is really a place to unwind. We seem to have an ever-growing art collection so we like to keep a neutral palette for all the furnishings and décor, consisting primarily of white, taupe and black, paired with natural accents. We like to use natural materials as much as possible and strongly believe in sustainability, so almost everything in our home is antique, vintage or made from recycled timber.
What time of day do you most enjoy being there and why?
I love the early evening at home. Our lounge room is filled with golden light as the sun goes down; there is no better place to be.
When you’re surrounded by art each day, how do you choose which pieces to have in your own home?
My art collection at home is primarily made up of artists who are friends, or who I have worked with previously. It’s an intimate space, so I like to be surround by works that are consistent with our minimal aesthetic. Art collections spanning various mediums are always more interesting, so in our home we have a balance of photographs, paintings, etching, drawings, sculptures, wood-carvings and ceramics.
“My home is absolutely a place for relaxation and pleasure. I spent a lot of late nights and weekends working at the gallery, so when I get to be home it feels like an indulgence. A time when I can light a candle, read my book and relax with a glass of wine.”
How do you like to use scent in your home?
I like to keep fresh flowers and candles in our home to make it feel loved. Every evening, almost ritualistically I light a candle in the lounge room and another in the bathroom. I like to keep the same scent consistent throughout our home, so that the entire apartment is harmonious, and the notes aren’t working against each other.
Do you change scent seasonally?
Yes, in the cooler climate I drift towards musk and woody fragrances, they seem to evoke a cozy, intimate atmosphere. I tend to gravitate towards fresh scents like citrus and floral notes, particularly gardenias, in the summer months. I am obsessed with Lumira’s La Primavera candle because it perfectly combines my love of floral and citrus notes and reminds me of summer days on the Italian coast. The sheer act of lighting a candle instantly makes a room feel warm and welcoming.
You’ve travelled to some amazing art shows in the past 12 months. What have been your most memorable trips and sights?
Art Basel in Hong Kong is always a favourite trip of mine because so many artists and friends that live all over the world travel to Hong Kong for the art fair. The entire city transforms into a bustling art centre for the month of March, and there are so many amazing exhibitions in the local galleries and studios, in addition to the fair.
How do you like to bring mementos or souvenirs of your travel into your home?
I love bringing decorative pieces back from our travels, primarily from local marketplaces and villages. We have limited space in our home, so we often bring back smaller pieces like baskets, vases or ceramics. I also collect gold charms for my bracelet on my travels.
Are there any specific scents that you connect with these places or experiences?
Scents often remind me of particular place, people or moments in time. I was raised on the beach, so for me the scent of the ocean will always have a special place in my heart and remind me of home.
Aside from art, what do you feel passionately about right now?
The environment, primarily the plastic pollution. Nine million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year, and it is truly heartbreaking.
Photography by Kath Mclean, Bright Photography
Interview by Michelle Bateman