How Are You Today – Jessie Scott

Jessie Scott

How Are You Today – Episode 5


Instagram handle @rainb0wvide0
Instagram handle @thecoburgplan


Kiera Brew Kurec 0:04
Hi, and welcome to Pro Prac. I’m Kiera Brew Kurec.

Nick Breedon 0:06
And I’m Nick Breedon. You’re listening to How Are You Today? A spin off series where we call an artist and check in with how Coronavirus is affecting them, and ask them to share their worries and their hopes for the future.

Hey, Jessie, how are you going?

Jessie Scott 0:29
I’m good. I am very, very tired after a long week of home-schooling, but I we are, thankfully, mercifully ending the week on a pretty up note. So that’s nice.

Nick Breedon 0:41
That’s great. Um, some good news, maybe?

Jessie Scott 0:45
Just that we are taking advantage of Victoria’s allowance that you can get a family member to babysit. We, me and my sister are doing babysitting exchanges. And my nephew is over this afternoon, which has made my daughter very, very happy. So when she’s happy, that makes a big difference.

Kiera Brew Kurec 1:06
I was gonna ask about your week structure. Do you do anything differently on the weekend to the week day to kind of break it up a little bit?

Jessie Scott 1:17
Yeah, it’s very, it is actually surprisingly, very different on the weekend, I think it might might be different for people in different circumstances. But because we do home-schooling through the week, and my partner is working full time, Monday to Friday, it feels very busy and sometimes very stressful during the week, we don’t have the kind of rushing around to get to and from places which is good, but just pushing my daughter through, you know, six or seven activities every day and trying to keep my other daughter who’s two years old, you know, out of trouble at the same time. All that stuff. So on the weekend, it’s actually really relaxed. And we stay in our pyjamas for ages. And we sort of don’t, I mean, we haven’t explicitly stated it, but we kind of don’t do anything we don’t want to do.

Nick Breedon 2:12
Yeah, yeah, I’ve actually been wondering that if there is some people who feel a little bit of relief, you’re just putting the brakes a little bit on activities.

Jessie Scott 2:20
We’re not like an overscheduled family or anything we don’t have, you know, Evie doesn’t have any extracurricular activities in particular on the weekend. But we definitely have a lot of family socialising to do like a lot of people to catch up with a lot of birthday parties, shopping, you know, like, and getting them out of the house. And so yeah, definitely, all of that has fallen away. And it’s a lot easier to just do a video call to your parents than it is to have to drag all the children into the car. And you know, like, it’s all that getting them to and from places and shifting them out of one mode into another actually is really stressful I think with small kids because they they don’t want to change what they’re doing. They get stuck in a mode and they don’t want to leave it.

Kiera Brew Kurec 3:09
I was wondering, Jessie, if you wouldn’t mind, kind of letting us know, if you have been affected in any way by the current situation, obviously, you’ve got your kids at home with you now. But is there anything else that’s kind of like shifted in your life or in terms of your practice?

Jessie Scott 3:28
Yes, to some degree, I’m, I’m doing a PhD at the moment. And so I’m studying two days a week, and probably for about the first six weeks of lockdown. I wasn’t really, I wasn’t able to maintain that. Because I really had to get my head around how to manage home-schooling. And that was just was like, the priority. And we tried for a while to kind of, you know, my partner was getting used to working from home and we tried to kind of do half half day, but it just wasn’t working. And so until we were able to get the babysitting thing happening. I just really had to like temper my expectations of like what I could do, and I had a had a public outcome that was meant to be in June, and that’s been cancelled. And so I’ve really had to adjust expectations around that as well. And yeah, I feel like because of the particular situation I’m in, in that I’m studying and on a scholarship, and it’s part time that was okay to ship outcome and I didn’t have any money invested in it yet. And so yeah, it’s sort of it hasn’t hurt me. It’s just changed what I’ve my timeline, if that makes sense.

Kiera Brew Kurec 4:42
Totally. Yeah. Do you think it’s gonna have to shift the project that you’re working on for that outcome is gonna take form? Or are you adapting with it? Or are you just kind of putting things on pause for the moment?

Jessie Scott 4:56
The particular outcome of this project is in the form of a lending library. And it really plays on the idea of bringing people into contact with objects in space. And so it really does require the shifting of the lockdown to work. But it doesn’t require a lot of people to be in the space at any one time. And so I’m hoping that, you know, even if we’re looking at change circumstances still in, you know, next year, that I’ll still be able to manage it. If we’re still social distancing, to some degree that I’ll still be able to adapt to that. So, yeah, I have to think through all those things really carefully. But it’s really, you know, we don’t have any certainty yet. So there’s no point in like, going there yet, if that makes sense. Like, you just have to kind of push it away. And I’ll deal with that. I’m actually that’s something that I’m really good at now is just dealing with what’s in front of me. And then dealing with that and then stressing about the other thing, when it’s in front of me. (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 6:02
Yeah, enforced mindfulness!

Kiera Brew Kurec 6:06
Yeah, it’s been really interesting. When the lockdowns first started happening, Nick, and I started kind of writing contingency plans as things were changing, and shifting and as borders were closing about projects that we’re working on, and like sending them out to all the different organizations, and then anyone who was kind of working on that project, and then it just seemed ridiculous, like the next week, all of those contingency plans were redundant. And so it’s just like, it’s, you’re so right, it is so pointless to kind of be thinking about certain things, when we have no idea what the future is going to be, and kind of really needing to just, like, focus on, you know, what is the day ahead rather than, like, six months ahead, or whatever?

Jessie Scott 6:57
Exactly. Yeah. And I’ve, you know, so with my PhD, I’ve shifted from I was going to be doing hate to production this year and travel. And so now I’m like, Okay, well, I will get back into writing, because that’s something that I can do. And that’s not so bad, because, you know, that’s probably the thing that I would put off. (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 7:20

Jessie Scott 7:22
But of course, you know, when I say that, it’s like, I get up to my studio, I have my studio day, and I, it’s so hard to turn my brain on. And like, you know, two or three good hours out of that day, then that’s great. But I also can’t, I can’t make myself, you know, it is what it is, you know, like, I’m operating under this huge amount of stress. And so if my brains a bit slower, and you know, if I have to take, if I feel like it gets to a point where I’m just not functioning much at all, then I’ll probably take leave or something.

Nick Breedon 7:59
Is there anything that’s, you know, in the in the wider sense of what’s happening with Coronavirus right now, is there anything that’s specifically worrying you, about what’s happening in the world? Or in the art industry? Or, you know, what, what might come in the future?

Jessie Scott 8:19
Oh, yeah! (Laughter)

Unknown Speaker 8:23
I mean, it’s good to talk about it. I was saying to someone the other day that, like, you know, we’re so we’re in a relatively good situation here in Australia, and it feels like we’ve dodged the bullet. And, you know, there will be other outbreaks. And I know that, you know, it’s not all over yet by any means. But I was walking down the street, and it was a sunny day, and it felt really nice. I was out for my walk. And I went and got a coffee from the local cafe. And, it’s just like, as soon as I sort of start relaxing, there’s just this feeling of dread that kind of comes back in, and it’s because I think, you know, there are so many places in the world where this is really, I can’t stop thinking about America, I can’t stop thinking about Europe, like I have friends all over the world. It’s not, it’s actually made me feel a lot, like closer to the rest of the world. And like, the world is a lot smaller. I don’t feel separated from them, because it’s like, oh, yeah, that friends got a, you know, family in Taiwan, or that that person’s family in New York? Or, you know, like, I’ve got a friend in LA, I’ve got, you know, friends in England, like it’s not and family in England, like it’s not, um, I don’t, it feels like weirdly unifying in that way, actually. That just because we’re doing well here, like we’re still connected to the rest of the world.

Kiera Brew Kurec 9:46
Totally, totally. And I, I’ve been thinking about that, too, in terms of what that’s going to mean for our arts community. And when we’re kind of able to emerge from this period of isolation and go back to producing artwork and showing it What does it mean for our friends and colleagues in other countries who won’t have that? And who may not have kind of institutional support like we do? And where does that then even put our own practices in terms of a global market in a global economy of the arts, it’s just going to shift so much. And we don’t know what that’s going to look like, which can be kind of scary. But yeah, I just I’m really feeling for all of our arts community across the world.

Jessie Scott 10:35
Absolutely. Yeah, I mean, what Yeah, what it brings home for me as well is yes, I mean, what’s happened in the arts community in Australia is terrifying. We haven’t, you know, like, it’s like this slow moving train crash that we haven’t seen the other side of yet, you know, yeah, we don’t know until the lockdown ends, what it’s actually going to look like for not just the arts, but everything. And I, it makes me think to myself and want to ask all artists, like, what do we actually think our job as artists is? you know, is it about having a career? Is it about, you know, being part of, like you say, a market? Or is this something else that as artists we are responsible to? And where does that leave us in times like this? Like, is it just about being able to continue functioning the way we were before? Or is there some other way that we can operate through these times that, that taps into some deeper role for artists?

Kiera Brew Kurec 11:39
Yeah. And I think, as well, that kind of highlighting of that sometimes in the arts in art spaces, and the role of the artists sometimes feed across many different platforms. And like, I think that is so highlighted with what is happening with Carriage works, how an arts space can function on so many levels and be so much a part of the community in different ways, and for different members of the public that space functions as different things and that has a ripple effect on the wider community when those things, are no longer able to operate, or those artists aren’t able to show or those vendors aren’t able to be at their weekend market?

Jessie Scott 12:29
And what happens in the void, you know, that’s left behind as well, who steps into that breach and what reshaped our culture as well, you know, because they were talking about Sydney Opera House taking over that venue, and how does that shift what happens there and what communities access it and, you know, these are things that we all need to watch really carefully. I think during this time,

Kiera Brew Kurec 12:49
just to kind of brighten it a little bit. (laughter) I just want to ask, what, what are you hopeful for right now?

Jessie Scott 12:57
Um, I, I feel like, a lot of things on a personal level. Just, I feel like it’s a process I’ve been in since I since I had kids, and definitely since my second arrived, of clarifying what things are really important in my life, what I want, what I want to spend time on who I want to spend my time with, and how all those things sit in a balance, you know, with, with family life and with work and, you know, personal ambition. And I feel like, as soon as the kind of lockdown started, I had this like, urgent need to make contact with, with friends, you know, to like, reach out and sort of set up times to you know, have zoom chats and discos and all kinds of like funny activities that we’ve been involved in, in the last couple of weeks. And and I feel like, that is something that like, other people I know, who had here too for previously been so overtaken by their incredibly workaholic lifestyle, that other people seem to be kind of like having that moment as well of like, Well, actually, we have the technology to keep in touch with each other. And why don’t we? You know, like, what a friend of mine used to say, you don’t waste time together, you spend time together or something like that. I can’t remember, it’s probably some, you know, famous aphorism. But those those friendships and connections are so important to me. And yeah, that’s what I hope like people, especially in the art world, I feel like you tend to only hang out with the people who are right in front of you. And yeah, like there’s, there’s actually no reason for that, like, there is Yeah, there are ways to keep in touch and be be connected to each other. So I hope that people start prioritizing that more. You know.

Kiera Brew Kurec 14:50
I’m really interested to see how that plays out. Because I think that is that extreme of like some people are so overworked right now in these new systems and like, will there be another kind of wave of relief when people kind of enter back into their jobs and their like Ohhh, I do have this kind of time again, when I get home from work that is now separated again. And I think it’s going to be like a bit of an evolution of people rediscovering what, what their time means to them.

Jessie Scott 15:19

Nick Breedon 15:20
Yeah. And like what feels good to do with that time?

Jessie Scott 15:24
Yeah. For sure. Like, yeah, I mean, you know, people have seen a lot of snarky comments about how the revolution isn’t going to be one making sourdough and stuff like that. (Laughter) And I get that I get the jokes. The jokes are funny, but also, I mean, like, I can’t see that it hurts, that people are rediscovering their own personal capacities to provide for themselves, you know?

Nick Breedon 15:50
Yeah, the Sourdough thing I think is really interesting, because it’s it’s like, it’s obviously been on a lot of people’s minds for a really long time. But I don’t think everybody’s just going like, ahhh Sourdough that’s the thing to do, right now. I think a lot of people have really wanted to do Sourdough, I think, for a really long time. All of a sudden, they’re just like, Ah, now, now is the time

Kiera Brew Kurec 16:12
Yeah, it’s the perfect thing that kind of symbolizes something that you need to nurture, you need to give it a lot of attention. You need to spend time with it. And like, that’s all the things that we were kind of like pushing out of our lives, as we were getting like work was encouraging more and more in different ways. And now it’s like, oh, yeah, like a reclamation of that space.

Nick Breedon 16:35
The Sourdough is yourself. (Laughter)

Kiera Brew Kurec 16:37
Yeah. It’s so true. To me, it’s curing olives. I’m curing from my tree for the first time, well I’ve tried before and failed. So I’m really, it’s one of those things, you have to be careful and take time.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today.

Jessie Scott 16:54
Always a pleasure.

Nick Breedon 16:56
Do you want to just do a little shout out of your website or your Instagram or both?

Jessie Scott 17:00
Yeah, sure. Um, my website is And my main project Instagram’s, @rainb0wvide0 with both o’s as zeros and the @thecoburgplan.

Kiera Brew Kurec 17:16
Thank you so much for sharing that.

Jessie Scott 17:19
No worries. Thankyou. Have a great weekend.

Kiera Brew Kurec 17:24
Thanks, Jessie.

Nick Breedon 17:24

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation and pay respect to their elders past, present and emerging and the elders of the lands that this podcast reaches you on today. We extend that respect to all First Nations people listening today and acknowledge that sovereignty has never been ceded.

Kiera Brew Kurec 17:47
How are you today has been generously supported by the city of Melbourne’s quick response grants. Follow us at @propracpodcastt on Instagram or email us at If you haven’t already, please subscribe on whatever you listen to podcast on.

Nick Breedon 18:03
Please stay in touch. We’d love to hear what you’re up to as well.

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Pro Prac acknowledges City of Melbourne’s generous contribution to How Are You Today? through their Quick Response grants program