Season One – Anusha Kenny

Anusha Kenny

Season 1 – Episode 4


Instagram handle @kanushak


Kiera Brew Kurec 0:10
Hi, I’m Kiera Brew Kurec

Nick Breedon 0:12
and I’m Nick Breedon,

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:13
and you’re listening to Pro Prac, a podcast where we explore the professional practice of artists and hear their stories.

Hi, everyone, and thank you for listening today. Today we are joined in the studio with Anusha Kenny. Anusha Kenny is an independent arts writer and lawyer based in Melbourne. Her arts writing has been published by Discipline, Un Magazine Ad in Australia, Artlink and The Age, a nation currently works as a policy lawyer at the Sentencing Advisory Council. Thank you so much for joining us here today.

Anusha Kenny 0:47

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:47
So we’ll start by jumping right in and asking how did you get to where you are today?

Anusha Kenny 0:56
Okay, well, I currently work as a manager in criminal law policy, working for an organization that conducts research about sentencing law. And as you mentioned, I also do some freelance arts writing very occasionally at the moment. And, and I’m the vice chair of Un projects, which is an organization that publishes Un magazine, which is a contemporary arts magazine. And so I came into these roles well, I did an arts degree, first of all, and got really interested in art history. And then I started working casually in the commercial gallery sector. And through that, I was really interested in arts writing and kind of practice like writing the press releases, and then started trying to get writing published and so and just started writing for things like Un magazine and other sort of local publications. And I think my first curatorial project was through Mud Fest at Melbourne University, which is like this. I don’t know if it’s still going on. But it’s like this Arts Festival. And I did a I organized a project that was at platform artists group, and which was an artist run space in the subway in Flinders Street. And following on from that, I had a few other opportunities like doing the Gertrude and Art and Australia emerging writers program, where I was mentored by Zara Stanhope that was a really big opportunity to kind of improve my arts writing, and get my work published in Art and Australia, which was really exciting. And then I did the Next Wave emerging curators program, and a couple of other curatorial projects. But alongside that, I was doing my law degree. And when I finished my law degree, that was in 2012, and I started working full time in the law. So I, my first job was as a judge’s associate. And then I got the job working in legal policy. And so while I’ve been working full time, I’ve just been trying to maintain an arts writing practice. And early on, I did a couple of little curatorial things with other people, but it’s become more manageable to do like freelance arts writing that I can fit in, around my full time job. And, yeah, so I’ve really just been trying to find a way to balance my interests. And I guess, there’s also been practical reasons to how I’ve come to the kind of balance that I’ve got, such as, like, the financial security of having a full time role. Whereas I didn’t really feel that I would be able to sustain myself financially through arts writing. And so yeah, it’s just been trying to strike a balance that feels like it’s financially viable, and also like, I have enough energy to be able to deliver on the things I have to deliver on and that’s an ongoing process.

Kiera Brew Kurec 4:20
And have you found with these two for what could seem as very opposing roles in the world, in the arts and in law, have you found that there has been moments where the processes of thinking or there’s topics or situations that have crossed over between the two in terms of using what you were thinking about in the arts into the your role within law, or vice versa in terms of that influencing your writing about the arts?

Anusha Kenny 4:55
And yeah, definitely, I mean, I feel like the kind of critical thinking skills that I developed through being involved in curating and arts writing, really made me think more critically about the law and enabled me to, well, that’s really driven my interest in getting into law reform and thinking about how the law could improve and change rather than it being kind of a lawyer who applies the law in a really strict way. So, and I think it’s made me a more critical thinker. And a common theme for me has been writing, like, I’m really passionate about writing about different things. And so law is one thing that I write about an arts is another thing, but the fundamental skills are about communicating ideas in written form, and, and, yeah, analysis, and all of those kinds of things are a common. Yeah, and I think there’s skills from my legal work that have has made me a better viewer of art, because it’s kind of it is a completely different lens, but the law kind of permeates everything, a lot of stuff in life and, and looking at different practices that have like a social or political dimension, I feel quite, I feel quite confident, like in being able to assess or engage with those artworks. And I guess my writing practice, I’ve definitely gravitated towards writing about, and exhibitions and artists to kind of engage in social commentary and even in the law, because I feel like, Okay, I know that and I can bring my knowledge of that to discussion of their practice. But on the flip side, as I’ve become more entrenched in legal work, I’ve kind of also find it hard to like, stay abreast of a lot of the critical thinking and conversations that happen in the art world that are, you know, that’s a whole thing, and you really need to stay on top of it. And there’s all this critical theory, and sometimes I’m like, Oh, my God, I can’t, like, I can’t know it all so I try to bring things together a little bit. So I’m kind of like, trying to apply their knowledge that I confidently have to discussion.

Nick Breedon 7:25
Was there kind of any moment when you were younger, that that really led you or pushed you into kind of like going into the arts? Like, was there any kind of like, you know, moment, like, how did you sort of end up pursuing that as a sort of interest?

Anusha Kenny 7:42
Well, yeah, it’s, it was kind of, out of the blue in that, like, when I was younger, I didn’t show any aptitude in art really at all, in high school, and I didn’t really have any family who were involved in the arts or anything like that. And, but I think what really got me interested in it was taking a subject an art history subject at Melbourne, uni, I can’t remember exactly what it was, I think it was like, it was about modern art. And it was taught by Anthony White. And that was really, really interesting. And then I did another subject taught by Charles Green, who’s also an artist. And, yeah, there was one subject that was like, art since 1980. And then I did art since 1990. And I was like, Wow, this is so interesting. And yeah, it just kind of, I just found it really, really fascinating. And I always kind of felt like, it was a bit impenetrable to me. But the writing was a way to engage with it and engage with the ideas. So I haven’t had a really pure relationship with art to be honest, it’s really been mediated through history and art writing and, like kind of engaging with the critical theory aspects rather than, like, I didn’t really have any experience of the sublime where I’d go into a gallery and be like, wow, like, I’m so moved by this. I wasn’t really at that place. But now I kind of feel that more like I sort of needed it explained to me.

Kiera Brew Kurec 9:19
That’s really interesting. Was There a point when you first started submitting your writing to Un magazine and other publications. Did you ever have any apprehension about it? Or was there any kind of mentoring that came through that process that gave you confidence in how to write about art and how to write about contemporary practice that is happening within the city that you live, rather than often, I guess, before that I was aware of those publications when I was younger. All I was reading is kind of these big article history books and like contemporary writing, besides like seeing a kind of Art Forum time to time, I wasn’t engaging with it that much. So did you have any kind of knowledge of these other publications? Or did you have a mentorship in terms of learning how to write in a style or how to approach it?

And that’s a good question. I think thinking back the first sort of opportunities, I had to write about art were writing, working for a commercial gallery and writing the press releases. And that sort of gave me a little bit of confidence in writing about artists when I hadn’t read anything about their work before. And then at that time, there was a public, I think it’s still around called Voiceworks, which publishes people who are under 25. And I pitched them articles when I was like, super junior, and hadn’t really written anything else about art to them and got some initial feedback. And I think it kind of just snowballed. Like, once you’ve published a couple of things, then then people are more likely to give you an opportunity to publish somewhere else. And I just kind of took every opportunity or every publication that I could find. And I would try and like, get something, submit something to them. And I do lots of random things, like I wrote reviews about films for this website were like, the exchange was that I get to see the free film, and I did heaps of things just to sort of get more confident in writing. And, and yeah, with Un magazine, they still have these where when you submit something you can like, basically requests to have someone mentor you and, and so I did that every time that I wrote for them, because you just have another opportunity to get a bit more feedback. And I guess the other thing that was good was, at the time, I had peers who were also getting into arts writing, and we’d often give each other feedback and support. And yeah, so that was really useful, having trusted readers, people who I could show like a really rough draft to and get feedback about things that helped. But there were lots of times where I got really harsh feedback from galleries, or if I’ve written a catalogue, I say or something. There were moments where it was bad. And so I came a long way, which was it was all useful experiences.

I think you know, it’s a given when you’re starting out at anything, no matter what age it is that there will be times where, you know, you won’t, you might hit the targets every time and nor should you. Yeah, it’s hard to navigate those without, with being able to learn from those experiences, rather than them crushing you, or kind of putting you making you feel like you shouldn’t do it.

Nick Breedon 13:08
So speaking about some of those growth opportunities. What are the what are some of the biggest challenges or things that you’ve needed to overcome to kind of continuing, like, continue your practice as a writer?

Anusha Kenny 13:24
Well, on a day to day level, particularly at the moment, one of the biggest challenges is finding adequate time to be able to write properly and edit and also improve my writing. Like, I feel that at the moment, trying to fit in arts writing can often just be about meeting a deadline, like rushing to a deadline, handing and something where I’m like, okay, it’s fine. Like, it’s okay. But, yeah, in order to improve, I’d like to be able to manage my time and push myself a bit more to improve and grow as a writer rather than just be handing in various things.

Nick Breedon 14:09
Yeah, this is a challenging thing for, you know, writers and artists alike to find, to find that time to have career development, as long as you know, because it always does feel like you’re just always punching through that next deadline. And it’s like, well, when do I get better? Like, when do I have time to get better as an artist and I’m finding it more challenging, you know, even more challenging as I’m getting, like, more, you know, mature in my practice that it’s like, you know, I try to try to like, put food on the table, but then also, you know, develop your practice and and show, you know, so how do you kind of juggle all those things all together? So yes, it is challenging.

Kiera Brew Kurec 14:44
It’s probably happening by doing that you’re improving, but I guess yes, sometimes it can feel like you’re just running to deadlines and not having time to really reflect Yeah, and I guess like, I think one of the challenges is being proactive in my writing, and in my practice, rather than just being reactive and just going, Okay, I’ll write If someone says, Hey, can you like review the show because it’s got a law angle. I’ll be like, okay, that’s an easy thing for me to do. And it’s kind of like, tick, but I could do that forever and not think well, what is more of a challenge for me? And what’s something bigger or more substantial that I can try and write rather than, like, lots of little, little things over a long period of time. Yeah, and I guess, as I mentioned before, and other challenges keeping abreast of the discourse of the art world, which I feel it’s, yeah, it’s, it’s something that requires a lot of energy and effort to be able to keep reading and keep up to date with developments in theory, and because I have a lot of that to do in my day job as well. It can be difficult, and I think that affects my confidence, because I kind of think, I don’t want to just Wade out into writing about someone that I don’t really understand or miss something really obvious, and people will be like, Oh, my God, you know, don’t you realize that this is the whole point of this artwork? You sort of miss it. Which, yeah, would be it’s, it can be a bit prohibitive, but then I’m like, Well, you know,

not everyone’s up to date with the discourse. You really can’t be.

Nick Breedon 16:35
That is a full time facet you know it is all fragmented anyway, like, you can be on top of whatever is happening in the arts over here but not know what’s going on over there.

Anusha Kenny 16:46
Yeah, that’s really true.

Kiera Brew Kurec 16:50
I think it’s also like, even if you’re not maybe on top of it in one certain area, you do have a level of expertise in another area that you can still bring in and have another point of view and read to it. Not dismissing those other things, but also it just makes it there’s just another point of view, which is just as valuable. It doesn’t have to be, you know, the most up to date, you know 3.0. version, it could it’s not saying that yours, your version isn’t it’s this coming from

Anusha Kenny 17:22
No it definitely isn’t (laughter) you can safely say that. But yeah, that’s true. I think that’s a good way to approach it. And another sort of challenge I wanted to talk about was, I guess, some of the financial barriers of participating in the art world, I think that definitely has influenced how I’ve structured my practice. And yeah, I mean, I guess, as I mentioned before, like I, I couldn’t really foresee there being a financially viable way of being an arts writer full time, and there was such a lot of risk involved in that. And I guess, also playing into it is like my family background and I, like don’t come from stacks of I mean, I know I don’t want to overemphasize it. But I come from a background where my mom was a single Mum, and I sort of knew, like, I’ve got a deep sense of needing to have my own financial stuff sorted. And I guess one of the things that I’ve reflected upon about the art world is that sometimes taking risks and taking opportunities, it can be quite difficult if you don’t have like a cushion, or kind of financial safety net. And so that’s been something that’s been hard because, like, it’s made me think, you know, perhaps if I did have more of that cushion there, I would have taken and being able to do bigger projects or taking more risks, but I’ve kind of thought, I’m just the precariousness of the fight the financial life of living on Contracts and Grants. And without, like, knowing that, you know, if it all falls apart, you can sort of move back in with your parents. Like, that hasn’t been an option for me. So it’s sort of meant that I’ve taken a kind of fiscally conservative approach to how I structured my practice.

Nick Breedon 19:31
People don’t often talk about how, you know, opportunity and risk, you know, big exciting things and, you know, we kind of thrive on those as as artists, and working in the arts, but, you know, being able to kind of jump at those opportunities offers is a really intense kind of like it’s a it’s a position of privilege to be able to just run into that stuff without really considering the financial implications if it doesn’t sort of work out.

Kiera Brew Kurec 20:00
And also the relationships that you need for those things to happen. And it’s, I could just not just be your family but your, your other personal relationships within. And that could take a toll on that.

Anusha Kenny 20:13
yeah for sure.

Kiera Brew Kurec 20:17
So with these things in mind, what have been some of your biggest resources that have assisted your practice?

Anusha Kenny 20:25
Well, some of the mentors that I’ve had have been really generous, like, when I did the Gertrude and Art in Australia, emerging writers program, Zara Stanhope was my mentor. And she’s currently the curator at the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art. And Zara was really, really generous with her time and really went above and beyond showing me different things and introduced me to different people and gave me lots of generous feedback about drafts and my writing. So that really helped me gain confidence to pitch my writing at a higher level and just really improved the quality of my work a lot.

Kiera Brew Kurec 21:15
How long was that mentorship for?

Well I think formerly it was two pieces of writing. So it was a catalogue essay for a Gertrude studio show. And then a review in Art in Australia. And I think that was, it was probably all done formally in under a year. But we stayed in contact and the relationship continues. And that was, yeah, really great. And I worked with Zara, when I did a, I did some work for Un projects a few years ago, coordinating an exhibition that they did, working with Zara editing, a publication about artists writing. And yeah, that was they were all really good experiences. Also, some other editors that I’ve worked with have been really, really useful, and provided really skilful feedback, including Helen Hughes, who’s one of the editors of Discipline. I wrote an essay for them. And her she’s just such a talented writer, as well as an editor. And I think they’re really different skills. And she’s brilliant in terms of the way that she can give feedback and take an essay to the next level. Yeah, as I said, Un magazine and other publications like that, that provides opportunities for people to cut their teeth a bit have been, that’s been a really great resource, as well as being able to read other local writers, and artists work in publications like that, including online and in other forums. And some of the writers that I really have learned from and I would consider a resource are Helen, as well as Nick Croggan, who’s another editor of Discipline, and also like, really like reading artists writing, because I think that, yes, some artists are just many artists are very adept at expressing things about art in a really like clear and perhaps less, like art history, jargon way. And some of those people that I really like reading Lisa Radford, and Clementine, Edwards, Anastasia Klose, I think right through really, really well. And, and Ash Kilmartin, she’s written some really great like essays. And so those are pieces that have really stayed with me, and I sometimes like go back and read them. And yeah, and another resources sort of mentor is a barrister I worked for in a legal capacity. His name’s Bill Gillies. And he is on the board of Un projects as well, and also on the West Space board. And he’s a barrister who sort of does like commercial and lots of different kinds of law, but he’s really generous with his time in terms of his art engagement. And, yeah, I think he’s been someone that I really look up to him the way that he is able to use the skills that he has, in a practical way to benefit the arts community and really support artists. And, and he’s also been really generous and supportive of me as well.

Fantastic. It’s, it’s so amazing how certain relationships can be so formative to how you shape your practice or what you end up producing and those friendships like they start off, maybe it’s kind of networking or formal relationships, and they build into these friendships that then go back into your practice. And they are kind of these, you know, weaving in and out of your life on a professional and also a kind of more day to day basis as well. And, yeah, they’re so important. And I think when I came out of university, I was really unaware of the whole, I didn’t really kind of comprehend that my cohort was going to be people that I was going to continue to be in contact with for the rest of my practice. But there are those relationships are so important. And yeah, I wish I had known when I was younger, just how important it is to nurture those relationships. Because they’re so beneficial. And when you get so much from them, I feel like it’s also important to be, you know, putting in the gratitude and the work to make sure that those are sustaining relationships.

Anusha Kenny 26:06
Yeah, definitely. Yeah, it is so important to not take those relationships for granted. And I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve kind of reflected on, you know, when someone comes to me who’s more junior, who wants like something edited or a bit of advice, I kind of think about how important it is to be treated, like not as a resource, and to sort of see as it more are more about an exchange rather than using people.

Nick Breedon 26:41
So with your kind of integrated law and arts practice, what does a successful practice mean to you?

Anusha Kenny 26:53
Well, for me, I think it would be I would be happy with my practice, if I was producing a little bit more writing it’s hard to strike the balance for me at the moment, because a lot of my energy is going, most of my kind of mental capacity is going towards my full time job, which I really enjoy, and I’m passionate about. And it’s not like, that’s a negative thing. But I think it would be really wonderful to be able to find more time to nurture creative practice and writing. And yeah, I mean, I think generally speaking, being successful in a practice, to me means being able to be happy with what you’re producing and continue to evolve in some way. And yeah, that’s, I think that would separate like a reasonable practice from a really like, great one. And it doesn’t really I don’t think it really matters, what the external validation necessarily is, although I guess, successful for most people would probably mean that maybe it’s like financially viable, or you’re getting certain kinds of opportunities. But I think for me, it more is about being able to improve, and continue to grow. And, and I guess, engage in a broader conversation around the arts and in a meaningful way rather than producing, writing that is not necessarily taking things further.

Kiera Brew Kurec 28:36
Given that you do balance these two practices, can give it in to us in a day, a week, a month, or a year of your kind of both your law and your writing practice look like? And do you need to kind of really separate your time from both? Or do you allow yourself some time for your writing to sit on the side? Or does that happen more to a deadline?

Anusha Kenny 29:07
And so, in terms of all week, I work full time. And at the moment, the level of engagement required of my work is quite high, because I’m managing a group of people and I also do research and writing about sentencing and criminal law. So it’s a kind of work that definitely takes a lot of mental stimulation. It isn’t like, I can go in, do my time and then walk away and not think about it because I definitely feel like for me writing, it’s just like nothing else can when I’m writing nothing else, I can’t really do anything else, mentally. So during the periods that I’m productively writing, on a draft for work, not much happens in terms of my arts, writing. But when there are times when I’m just editing something for work, I’m able to think about whether I want to review or write something, or just work on a creative piece of writing. And I guess I’ve kind of started writing about things beyond the art world as well. And because I’ve been doing my Master’s in law, and so I’ve been doing a bit of academic writing, and, and I’ve been trying to make some of that publishable elsewhere. And, another thing that I do that is related to my legal work is that I volunteer at a community legal Centre, which I do fortnightly. And that’s really, really enjoyable. And yeah, it’s something that I wouldn’t want to give up. So I have these extra things that are related to law where if I could give, if I cut back on some of that, maybe I’d have more time for art stuff, but I’m really passionate about social justice, and being able to like, apply my skills practically to help people in a really direct and immediate sense is really satisfying. And kind of makes me feel like, oh, all of that studying was really worth it. Now I can sit down and like help this person with something, which is not not something that I get in my day to day job, which is really like kind of high level research generally. And it’s also not something I’ve ever felt in that it’s like, you don’t necessarily have that say that direct outcome of like your writing, it just sort of goes into the ether, and you don’t really know. Yeah, and so also, generally, during the week, I’ll have some kind of engagement with Un projects, there’s a board member, although it’s pretty, it’s really like low key. But so that will kind of involve contributing to strategic planning and governance issues then, and just generally been a team member on the board, which has been really, really fun. And it’s been a way of me, getting those connections back in the art world, and being able to contribute other skills apart from arts writing, like policy development, and a little bit of legal skills, although Bill is there as a kind of real lawyer to be able to provide a lot of that support. So, yeah, that’s, um, that’s pretty much what it looks like. But over the next year, I think I’d like to, once I finish my master’s thesis, I’d like to be able to do some more substantial arts writing, and, but it has to fit in around a full time job. And that’s hard, because like, there’s other things in life that you want to do so.

Nick Breedon 32:58
I don’t know how you have the time, honestly.

Anusha Kenny 33:00
yeah, I mean, it kind of is just like, little snatches of time, like, yeah, evenings, or just putting aside a bit of time on Saturday, or, if I have a kind of quiet day, at work, I can sort of do some background thinking or like, write some little notes in my email secretly, I can come back to you later. But yeah, I don’t, I haven’t really had much time to just go I will spend, like a whole week doing writing this. And so it’s really been just about patching together, parcels of time.

Nick Breedon 33:36
And do you find just on a very practical note, Do you find writing after you’ve already spent a full day working really challenging?

Kiera Brew Kurec 33:45
Yeah, I mean, because my work is basically writing as well. And I find that really difficult to do so. But with the cycle of the work that I do, and in legal policy, like we’ll have a deadline to get a draft down of a report. And then there might be like a period where I have to consult with different people. So present findings and, and all of that’s really tiring, but then there’s kind of a few months where we might be like refining and editing. And then at that point, my brain can kind of move into a slower gear, and then I’ll have more space to be able to think about other stuff. So yeah, when I’m writing during the day, there’s just no hope of me being able to go home and write but sometimes I have had a counterintuitive effective, like doing all of these technical legal writing. It’s a really kind of formulaic and in some ways, quite restrictive style of writing. And so that has been generative in that it makes me want to break free and like write something else or write in a totally different way or it kind of gives me ideas and different thing to think about so I guess suppressing creativity, in some ways can make you just be like, Oh, I really need to just like write something. Yeah, that isn’t to, you know, this house style or in this legal way.

Nick Breedon 35:16
I had a question that was quite pointed as well about, if you could give, if you could speak to artists, or, you know, younger, more emerging artists, more generally about writing, would you do you have any advice or, you know, kind of ways that they can think about, you know, writing just it just generally just about their work? Because I think it is a challenging thing that they come up against, you know, like, you know, having having to use text to articulate something that they use, you know, literally their practices to articulate something and then using text, articulate their practice, and can somewhat sometimes be quite challenging when you’re starting out. I certainly was for me.

Anusha Kenny 35:56
Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think my advice would be to try and just make it if you if you’re not someone who articulates things in writing, and that isn’t kind of the way you’re approaching your practice, I’d say keep it really simple, because I think sometimes trying to over theorise can be a little bit off putting or a bit to sort of limit the reading of your artwork in some ways. And so I’d say, trying to approach things really simply is a good starting point. And, then I mean, I’d also depending on what the context is that you’re writing for, I’ve had artists come to me and say, Can you look over this little blurb about my writing? Or can you write a couple of paragraphs? That would just be attributed to me, but sort of not really like a catalogue essay, but just getting some outside assistance? Because I think that sometimes it could, I couldn’t imagine that it would be really hard to write about your artwork when you’re so close to it. And so getting someone outside to assist you with maybe putting a draft together or looking over something might be useful.

Nick Breedon 37:13
it’s quite, it’s quite hard. Particularly I think, if you haven’t been practicing for very long to write, like an artist statement. You’re just like so in your own head that you can’t like, see what your actual practice is, from your own perspective?

Anusha Kenny 37:28
Yeah. I mean, whenever I have to write something that I don’t know how to begin, I basically read other examples and try to get inspiration. So I think, if you start reading how other artists that you like, articulate those ideas and not copying, but just sort of getting some inspiration of how to approach articulating whatever your practice is. That that could be helpful.

Kiera Brew Kurec 37:57
Yeah, I definitely remember my early is just like looking at everyone’s artist statements and seeing like, what bit do they put where And what kind of sentences and what kind of language

Nick Breedon 38:07
I just remember reading some and being like, what the hell does that even mean!

Anusha Kenny 38:14
And that can be good as well, like sometimes artist statements that basically don’t explain anything, or that are really sort of poetic and impenetrable. Like artists shouldn’t necessarily have to show behind the curtain, so that I guess an artist statement can be another extension of the artwork, rather than having to just be like, Guys, I’m gonna level with you here’s what I am doing.

Nick Breedon 38:40
Yeah, sometimes it’s like if it’s helping with the mystique, but there’s a real kind of solid foundation for that. And then sometimes it’s the curtain, but there’s nothing behind (Laughter).

Kiera Brew Kurec 38:58
So maybe expanding upon what you just said there with the advice for artists, maybe towards people who are thinking about going into arts writing those who already work in the arts, but might consider using writing as a tool to extend their practice, Do you have any advice for them about how to start up a writing practice?

Anusha Kenny 39:25
My advice would be, just start however you can. But take every opportunity to get feedback and really listen to the feedback that you’re getting. And read as much as you can. And I guess the other thing, like the arts writing that I really like, it’s not necessarily about what said, well, it’s partly about that, but it’s also about how the writing is constructed. And I think it’s a real art to be able to make a reader feel like they’re in safe hands because I feel like as soon as you some writing any writing, not even just arts writing, you can start reading it and just feel like the person’s a little bit shaky. And that immediately puts the reader in a mode of being like, Oh, this person isn’t confident. So I think working both on your knowledge of art history, but also and contemporary art, but also on your ability to write, and, and looking at that as a particular thing to continue to develop, rather than just totally focusing on the substantive knowledge. And the other thing that I’d say, probably a little bit sidestepping the question, but when I look back on how I started in arts writing, and also like involvement in galleries and curating some advice that I’d give to my younger self would be to negotiate boundaries, in terms of like unpaid internships, particularly in the commercial art sector, I would do that really differently. I mean, that said, I got some really good experience. But I worked for free. And I probably worked for free beyond the point that I was getting more out of it than the organization was. And so yeah, I just kind of think that it’s important to be able to, it’s so hard when you’re young, and particularly when you’re starting out and you don’t know what you’re doing, and you need to get contacts. But I would definitely encourage people to be assertive in how they set those boundaries. And particularly with writing where it can be like, definitely an undervalued skill, but it’s not one that everyone has. And I think it’s important as a writer to think, well, this is an it’s a valuable skill. And same as artists, like you should be paid for your work. And yeah, just sort of being having the confidence to be able to set those boundaries for yourself in a way that you feel comfortable with. And don’t feel like you’re being taken advantage of. ]

Kiera Brew Kurec 42:11
that’s really great advice. If anyone is listening who wants to read any of your writing? Where can we direct them to read some of your stuff?

I don’t have a website. I think the best way is just to Google my name. Because I’m the only person who has my name. So yeah, there is stuff online.

Yeah. Great. Even when I was prepping for this, I was able to find lots of your articles as well.

Yeah it is all over the place I should pull it together at some point

Yep. So if you’re listening, definitely go. And Google Anusha Kenny, and have a read because there’s some really insightful and beautiful pieces that you’ve written over the years. And also, as an artist, I’d like to take the opportunity to say thank you for writing about the art scene that we are involved in because it is a symbiotic relationship that without the writing we also, you know, that also helps us stay in our practices. So, as an artist, it’s really important for me to be reading and so thank you for writing.

Anusha Kenny 43:18
Oh pleasure.

Kiera Brew Kurec 43:19
Thank you so much.

Nick Breedon 43:20
Thanks for coming in.

This episode is recorded on the sovereign Land of the Kulin nation, we acknowledge the traditional owners of the land the Wurundjeri people and pay respects to elder’s past, present and emerging.

Kiera Brew Kurec 43:47
Thanks for listening to Pro Prac. You can listen to other episodes and subscribe to us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. You can stay up to date with what we’re up to on Instagram @propracpodcast, or send us an email at