Season Two – Jenna Pippett

Image credit: Jenna Pippet, Levitate (detail), 2016-2017

Jenna Pippett

Season 2 – Episode 2


Instagram handle @jennapippett

Felt space
National library
National Archives:


Nick Breedon 0:00
Hi, I’m Nick Breedon,

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:01
and I’m Kiera Brew Kurec,

Nick Breedon 0:02
and you’re listening to Pro Prac

Kiera Brew Kurec 0:04
a podcast where we explore the professional practice of artists and hear their stories.

Hi everyone, and thank you for listening to Pro Prac. Today our guest is Jenna Pippett.

Nick Breedon 0:15
Jenna Pippett graduated in 2012 from Adelaide Central School of Art, completing a bachelor of visual art with honours. She has exhibited in a solo capacity and Adelaide City Council’s arts hub, Felt space, Constance ARI, Seventh gallery, Sawtooth ARI, Ace Open Ace across and Kings Artist Run. Pippett has also participated in several group exhibitions including at Adelaide Central Gallery, Adelaide Town Hall, Greenaway Gallery, Gag projects, Screen Space, Abbotsford Convent, Video Platform Art Stage, Singapore and Video Platform Art Stage Jakarta. An active member of the local arts community Pippett served as a co director of Felt Space between 2015 and 2018 anationally recognized artist run initiative. She currently sits on the artists advisory group and board for SALA the South Australian living artists festival. She’s the current visual arts peer assesor for project and development grants at Carclew and has been employed as a gallery assistant at Hugo Mitchel Gallery since 2015. Thanks for joining us in studio today, Jenna Pippett.

Jenna Pippett 1:25
Thank you thrilled to be chatting to guys.

Kiera Brew Kurec 1:27
It’s amazing. Jenna’s in Venice at the moment for everyone who is listening.

Jenna Pippett 1:30
It is an incredible location. My Italian is slightly getting better but

Nick Breedon 1:38
Are you sort of practicing it on people and you like and they just speak back to you in English?

Jenna Pippett 1:43
Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. My main goal is to order a coffee like confidently and for them to kind of ahh yes thats someone who’s trying. I keep saying things like, you know, it’s a good morning not a good afternoon, Oh its like good morning at night time (Laughter).

Nick Breedon 2:09
Well, let’s kick it off, like every time by asking you to please tell us a story of how you became an artist.

Jenna Pippett 2:17
Yeah, so I guess probably like most, most of most people who you interview I was really taken by drawing as a kid. And, and, you know, really enjoyed making art at home, and really enjoyed it at school, as well. So my family, my mum is Czech and my mum and grandparents immigrated to Australia when my mum was five years old. And I always found this to be like a fascinating, a fascinating point. In that, you know, my mum wasn’t, wasn’t born in Adelaide, and I’m from Adelaide, and you know, where I’ve grown up and that there was a disconnect there. And so even as a kid, that’s something that I was really fascinated by. So I remember being in high school and like looking at old family photos, and I think certainly when you’re a teenager, you’re like, oh, nostalgia, Isn’t that a beautiful thing? And, and so, yeah, that was something that I always looked at looked to as a kid and my parents were always really supportive of my arts career. My I’m really close with my mum and not so close, I haven’t been so close with my dad, these days I am. But certertainly, yeah. As growing when we were growing up, my parents separated. And so my mum was always the rock for the family. And I have always been interested in the maternal side of my family, and these links to relatives overseas, and yeah, and I guess, the closeness that, that mothers and granddaughters and yeah, the females in the family share. So, yeah.

Do you have any siblings?

Yeah I do. I have a have a younger brother. He is constantly traveling. We always got along. We never fought as kids. And we we get along to this day, which is Yeah, always been a really lovely thing. And I know my mum doesn’t have any siblings. And so in Australia, it’s just my mum and my grandparents. My grandparents are both still alive I am very lucky to still have gray and my Mum, I think she always wanted siblings, but it was just not an option, I guess. But my grandparents so they were you know poor migrant family. And so they just once they moved to Australia, they were very, very much like, we’ve got to make a better life here make a better life for our daughter. But now my mum, you know, having to look after my grandparents a lot. She’s like, gosh, I wish I had some cousins I wish I had more siblings, more, more of a support network. In that way the support network for my family is quite closed.

Kiera Brew Kurec 5:31
So did you continue that kind of interest in drawing and making through your high school years as well? Was that something that you just kind of dabbled with when you were much younger in primary school?

Jenna Pippett 5:43
Yeah, I did continue my drawing up untill high school. And then I remember doing photography, our school was fortunate enough to have a darkroom. And I loved the darkroom. I’ve never been to the dark room since but I really enjoyed those, the process, the process of it all, and learning how to use like editing software on computers. And doing graphic design as a subject for me doing design. And I nearly like I remember putting in, you can do your preferences after you when you graduate, you get your results. I put. I think I put graphic design my first preference and visual arts as my second. Because I was like, I knew that I’d be able to get into Visual Arts. But I was like, Oh, I guess I dont and I was very, very close to going into that. Like, oh, I need a real job type senario.

Nick Breedon 6:37
Yes, Lucky you didnt!

Jenna Pippett 6:38
But I actually did a little drawing course. Yeah I know! But there’s so many links, like I yeah, I see. So much of that graphic design elements kind of coming into my practice. And I love being at a computer I feel most comfortable in editing in a digital realm rather than Yeah, I guess, a physical gestural world of drawing and painting.

Nick Breedon 7:03
That is really interesting. And so when when, like, when was the kind of point, you know, after after you did all your preferences and everything that you were like, actually, oh, no, I think you were just telling us actually that you did a you did a little drawing course. Is that. Is that right?

Jenna Pippett 7:20
Yeah, When I was in year 10, and I wish I kind of wished that I’m so glad that I did it. But my mum wrote me anote to get me out of Japanese classes. I just was terrible at it. I’m terrible at language. And I they used to do, I’m not sure what it’s called over in Victoria, but it’s like VET courses like that. Yeah. vocational training.

Nick Breedon 7:48
I think it’s called something else.

Kiera Brew Kurec 7:51
VCAL? Yeah anyway same thing.

Jenna Pippett 7:55
Yeah, it’s an acronym, which isn’t doing like dog and vet course, it’s what ever you want it to be. And I did like six months of drawing at the art school that I ended up attending.

Kiera Brew Kurec 8:10
That’s so cool.

Jenna Pippett 8:11
Yeah, it was then yeah, it was really cool. And my grandparents would pick me up from my school in my school uniform, and they drive me like 30 minutes across town to go to this art school where I was the youngest participant.

Nick Breedon 8:23
That’s amazing! I think all the VET courses, at my high school were like, you know, being an electrician or like being a chippie or something. Yeah. You know, and, and, and like literally No, girls were doing them. It was all boys.

Jenna Pippett 8:41
Yeah, they were more trade type.

Nick Breedon 8:43
Yeah. That’s so amazing.

Jenna Pippett 8:47
Yeah it was an incredible thing to do. And it Yeah, I was in year 10. So I was like, what 15. And, you know, I was obviously a really cool teenager. (Laughter). And I’d roll up to this to this art school in my, you know, full school uniform. And everyone in my class, you know, you go to art school, there’s people of different ages and backgrounds, and I was just treated like an equal. And I was totally hooked. Yeah, thre was this like, 70 year old woman, like totally, you know, just spoke to me like I was anyone else in the class. Yeah, you know, at that stage when you’re near 10, you see adults as being this, like source of authority so that I was like, Wow, look at this world that exists that, you know, people are people are treated equally and, and, you know, you can learn and you’re, you’re just one of the one of the class, which, yeah, I mean, maybe it was a bit of a unique experience, because yeah, I certainly know plenty of people in a university scenario that wouldn’t have treated a little 15 year old girl.

Nick Breedon 9:54
Well, I guess I think, you know, you’re all in one way. You’re all kind of at the same level. You are all there to learn.

Jenna Pippett 10:02
And just the exposure to you know, this is this is actually something that is a career can be a career, it really opened my eyes up to that. And so yeah, I think my, my teacher at the time, who’s just retired, said, Oh, you know, this is something that you could consider after school and there’s like a scholarship program and encouraged that I applied for it. And yes, so I put that on the back burner until I yeah, until I graduated school. And I was like, yeah, this is this is something I want to do. And yeah, didn’t enroll in visual communications in the end But went to art school instead.

Kiera Brew Kurec 10:44
So after you’ve graduated, you have been really heavily involved in the Adelaide art scene in different roles and capacities. How did you get into your envolvement with with Felt Space which is ARI in Adelaide?

Jenna Pippett 11:00
It is, yeah, so, um, I found the art school that I went to. So there’s, there’s three places that you can study visual arts in Adelaide, and the art school that I went to has smaller class groups, and it’s very much its own little community. And it’s Yeah, it’s not like a big, a big university, which you get lost in, in a whole sea of people. So my graduating group was a group of 11 people. After, after we graduated, a couple of my friends who set up a little studio in the city, which is still is still very much a thing in Adelaide that you know, property prices aren’t so crazy that you can actually rent a space sign a commercial lease in the CBD.

Nick Breedon 11:50
I love Adelaide so much.

Jenna Pippett 11:55
Yeah, we didn’t think that, you know, we were like, I can’t believe people actually letting us sign this commercial lease to run a studio. And so yeah, me and a couple friends ran a studio for three years. And I think through that I kind of was given a little like, Oh, hey, you should apply to be part of Felt Space. But at the time that I joined it was in operation for about seven years. And I’d been part of a couple of exhibitions there. And yeah, they were doing a call out for co-directors. And I put my hat in the ring. And I’m so glad I did. It was a truly life changing experience. So yeah, I think I started at the same time as five other people. And because it was a pretty, like a new fresh group that was joining, I think that we all felt very confident to start, you know, yeah, start being active straightaway. And those five people that I started with, have all since left Felt Space, but they’re all you know, in, you know, very different roles within the visual arts community. In fact, ya know, you guys mentioned you’re interviewing Kate Power, and she was at Felt Space when I was at Felt Space.

Kiera Brew Kurec 13:22
It’s definitely one of those ARI’s that like, it kind of always pops up on everyone’s CV, I find that like, I’ll be reading through. And especially like, Yeah, lots of artists from Melbourne as well have gone over to show there. And it’s such a great space as well. So it’s great to see ya, it’s so well looked after.

Jenna Pippett 13:46
Yeah, that’s it, and I, you know, they’re in their 11th or 12th. year now, and going strong. But I think that in terms of, you know, for artists, it’s obviously a great resource to show you’re work in. And I think Felt Space has got a really good national profile, but there’s no way to, like quantify the effect that it has on, you know, co directors being involved in the space because, you know, you you’re introduced to all these people coming in and yeah, and it provides you with so much so much, you know, behind closed doors experience on, you see how applications come through, you see the things that, you know, don’t make a strong applications, see the things that you want to endorse that you are able to take that to practice and actually just practical things.

Nick Breedon 14:35
Yeah. It’s that that thing, and a lot of people have talked about that, you know, like that being, you know, either volunteering in an ARI or being on a panel, you know, for council, taking on reading applications and stuff like seeing how the sausage is made. Really gives you a lot of insight.

Kiera Brew Kurec 14:54
That is such a gross expression. (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 14:53
I love it. It’s so awful. It gives you a lot of insight. Yeah, how, like how you can improve, it’s like, you know, you see it’s not a you’re not kind of in this feedback loop of your own or echo chamber of your own where It’s like, oh, I don’t know what my ideas are doing. Like, you get to see what works with other people.

Jenna Pippett 15:17
Yeah And you meet so many people from across the state and you get to go to, you know, when we went to the Hobart biennial ARI biennial that they put on, and, you know, it’s all these other people that are just like you, but just from all over Australia, and, you know, talking about the issues that are that, that the very much similar to what you’re experiencing locally.

Nick Breedon 15:42
The ARI Olympics!

Jenna Pippett 15:44
Yeah. I’ve been talking about the Venice biennale, like the art Olympics.

Nick Breedon 15:49
Oh they are! I love that. Yeah, that’s what I always say to, you know, like, my family. I’m just like, you know, it’s it’s like, it’s like going to the art Olympics. It’s really important in my industry.

Kiera Brew Kurec 16:01
Except only one person gets to be represented. (laughter)

Jenna Pippett 16:06
Painting was actually an Olympic sport. There was like way, way, way back.

Kiera Brew Kurec 16:10
Wow. I think that’s what George Brandis wanted when he had his Australian exellance.

Nick Breedon 16:26
Eye roll.

Jenna Pippett 16:29
Yes. He wants to be the dictator too. (Laughter)

Kiera Brew Kurec 16:41
So just moving on a bit, I was just wondering if he will be able to kind of talk about any challenges that you’ve needed to overcome to continue your practice?

Jenna Pippett 16:50
Yeah, I think um a challenge. I don’t know, if I haven’t, I have not overcome it yet. My current challenge is, I guess, like time management. And I think it’s, it’s a big one, everyone faces it. But, um, because Yeah, because of my involvement with Felt Space, and, you know, running studio spaces. And, like, I really enjoy being part of the community. I work at a commercial space in Adelaide, and I love it there. I’m very fortunate to work with an incredible team, but it’s working in the arts and trying to have an arts practice, you know, would seem to go hand in hand, but it’s difficult to separate your creative time from your like, I know, I guess, yeah arts, your other arts time, because you’re assisting other people, you know, trying to help them realize their projects, but it kind of eats into your, your own time as well. In a in a non like nine to five way, but you know, you might take it with you after you leave work just because, yeah. Because I mean, it is so, so small, and, and so linked that, yeah, I think that’s my current, my current challenge that I’m trying to overcome. And certainly, you know, like anyone the financial things, that the kind of effect that, that, you know, a job is great, because you get able to live and go on holidays and do all those things. But yeah, it’s also you know, you feel that that part of you that’s lacking the, you know, the you want to get into the studio more and you know, you won’t have time for your own thing, but as much as that requires time away from work, also requests and mental headspace.

Nick Breedon 18:40
Yeah, there’s also this really interesting thing. I’ve, like, you know, a catch. No, it’s not really a catch 22 but like, when you if you if you work in the arts as your main source of income, as well as are an artist, you’re kind of hit with this double whammy of like, you know, your income from your artwork is probably not superduper high. You know, and, and then you’re trying to also fund your, you know, your arts practice and your life from that wage. You can you can get really challenging trying to sort of do both, it’s sort of like we we all need, like, you know, super high paying, you know, crazy tradie jobs and then and then, you know, have a really like strong practice, you know.

Kiera Brew Kurec 19:22
Well a VET course in electronics would help.

Nick Breedon 19:25
Like, well, yeah, like a, like being in an electrician or something. Yeah, yeah.

Kiera Brew Kurec 19:31
or a plumber.

Nick Breedon 19:32
Yeah, totally. I could have been, could have totally gone into, into that.

Jenna Pippett 19:41
Yeah, it’s finding a balance. And someone an artist told me this. She’s like, you know, there’s never really, you never find a balance. It’s just constantly balancing.

Kiera Brew Kurec 19:50
And it changes all the time, as well. Like, year to year, different stages of your life, different job roles as well.

Jenna Pippett 19:59
It’s a constant, because you might have a really intense, intense period of work or an intense period of, you know, like a residency or something like that. And so you put all your energy into that at one time. But yeah, you’ve got to be good to keep those plates spinning, which is exhausting.

Kiera Brew Kurec 20:21
It is. And it’s often also hard, I think, as well, maybe, especially when you’re younger, figuring out what job positions you can take to compliment your art practice, or like maybe working in hospitality or childcare is something that’s good, because you can take time off when you are required to do a residency or have an exhibition coming up. That kind of full time work is also, you know, it’s, it’s a commitment in terms of time, not just like day to day, but also how much time of the year you’re required to be there in the same, you know, in the same city as that job.

Nick Breedon 21:02
And it’s also like, your primary hours. It’s like, right, in the middle of the day, you know, whereas, you know, sometimes, you know, although it’s challenging, sometimes working, you know, at night can be a little bit, you know, yeah, you can kind of work it around your practice instead of the other way around. Because you maybe you don’t need to be quite so attentive when you’re slinging beers.

Jenna Pippett 21:26
Yeah, I’ve certainly done the slinging beers scenario. And I think that for me, yeah working at night. Is, is a is a better scenario. Yeah. But the hospitality environment, you know, is, is a physically exhausting one. So on the I mean, you know, there’s jerks and that can be, yeah, especially when is alcohol is always jerks. Yeah. But, yeah, being able to work at night, I think, you know, enables you to have that studio daytime, and I’m definitely a studio day, daytime thinker rather than a nighttime thinker. But yeah, it can just, yeah, I’ve done I still do hospitality and have done a lot of hospitality as well in the past. And, yeah, it’s it’s also like, burnout territory, because you might work out but I mean, certainly in Adelaide, there’s lots of festival work, then, you know, you you work ridiculous hours, and then there’s a lull, which can be good for a practice. But maybe not so good for like, having money to live off.

Nick Breedon 22:33
your sanity.

Jenna Pippett 22:35

Kiera Brew Kurec 22:38
I just want to totally go a little bit off topic for a moment, just what with what you said in terms of Adelaide and festivals, were speaking with an artist the other day, who had grown up in Brisbane and what APT kind of brought to the discourse around Arts in Brisbane. And I was also just at a symposium the other day where they were, the panelists were discussing festivals in zones of conflict and kind of comparing arts festivals in Columbia v arts festivals in Australia and Adelaide festival kind of spoken about quite a bit. And so I was just wondering if you wouldn’t mind sharing what your experience of living in a city that has, I think one of the oldest arts festivals in Australia, and such an important Arts Festival. How that has been, you know, going through art school in a city that has fostered the arts in a very public way through the Adelaide Arts Festival.

Nick Breedon 23:42
Isn’t it the festival city, thats the number plate yeah?

Jenna Pippett 23:46
It is, it is. And yeah, Adelaide festival is a very important thing for South Australian practices, both in the ways that it obviously brings performers to Adelaide as part of the festival but in that it brings audiences as well. So I know that certainly at the gallery that I work at, we will program things thinking about what what other activities are happening in the state at the time and you know, which audiences will be will be coming and you know, with a little bit isolated in Adelaide, I think somewhat like Perth we are always complaining that people skip Adelaide on their tours. And so it is is an important an important thing for Adelaide because, you know, the spotlight is on is on us for at the start of each year, but with Adelaide festival, obviously also comes Fringe Festival. And that can be the I guess a little bit of an oversaturation of the, of the of the market in a way. If its arts, things get over looked if they’re part of fringe often, because fringe certainly caters to the comedic, like, what’s called like magician kind of audiences. And yeah, there’s there’s not, there’s not so much crossover. But I really hope that when artists come to Adelaide that they don’t they don’t feel overlooked in that way. But we do get certainly huge numbers coming from Interstate and that’s really important for for the survival of the arts in Adelaide. But it’s important to know that things still happen all year round. It’s not just Febuary and March thats the only time that Adelaide exists. And I think that that can be the view from an external perspective,

Kiera Brew Kurec 25:45
do you feel like there might be a bit of a like collective sigh of like, relief slash tiredness come end of festival season? Like, is there a feeling through the city of like, Wow Another one done?

Jenna Pippett 25:59
Yes. Yeah, and I think that a lot of artists, you know, performing visual, the whole gamut. They, it’s extra work for them. So I know, I did a lot of hospitality work in Adelaide festival time, which means that I saw some shows lots of times. And other shows that I would have loved to have made it to I didn’t get I didn’t get to.

Nick Breedon 26:22
Just moving on to the next question. What does a successful practice mean to you?

Jenna Pippett 26:28
I think it’s a it’s a really tough question. Because it can be, obviously, so many things, but I think it’s allowing yourself the time. And to be able to think creatively and to be a part of your community. I think that you’ve, I also think that, you know, it’s fine for artists to take to take some time off, and that you don’t have to be, you know, always giving your, your 100 like, you don’t have to be going to every single opening and making sure that you’re being incredibly active because they’ll there will be lulls. It’s it’s life, you don’t just sit on the accelerator, every single day. And so I think that it’s it’s being able to realize those rhythms and to give yourself the time to have some space away from, from, from those active circles, but, but still being able to, to still be able to think creatively in your own your own your own setting. And, yeah, I think it’s really tough. It’s tough, you put so much of yourself out there as an artist. you bear yourself to be criticized! Sometimes you need to hibernate for a little while.

Nick Breedon 27:53
Yeah. Yeah, totally. I think one of maybe it was one of our guests, or I was talking to someone and they, they said this really great thing to me, which is, it’s, you know, much more helpful to think of your, you know, your practices, like, spanning your entire lifetime than just, you know, whatever, whatever it is that you’re doing now. So like, you’ve really got to, like, find ways to just really sustain what you’re doing. And you know, it doesn’t matter that you’ve had like, a year off, or five years off, or whatever it is, but like when you practice for your entire life, that’s a practice, not not, you know, the next two shows or no shows that you’ve got coming up.

Jenna Pippett 28:34
Or it’s that funny thing of like, you know, when you leave art school, and you know, your freshly graduated with this certificate, and like new beret, you’re out in the world, and people are like, oh, what do you do? Like, I’m an artist, at what point do you say? Yeah, I’m an artist, like, how do you get to that that point? And yeah, it’s a funny little thing. You’re like, Oh, look, I’ve just finished studying and now I am doing this but yeah, to be able to confidently say, like, Oh, I am an artist. This is what I do. Yeah, getting to that point. I was like, oh, wow, I can Yeah, like I actually feel like I’m participating.

Nick Breedon 29:08
Was there a specific point for you will like, there it is. I’m an artist.

Jenna Pippett 29:19
Um maybe having my first solo show, I think because, you know, you go to art school and you talk about putting in application processes and applying for funding and doing all that kind of stuff. Maybe doing that or maybe getting a studio maybe yeah, I think maybe getting a studio having my own space to go but yeah, having a having a desk outside of the home. It’s a funny little thing of like, Oh, yeah, now I do this. Now I’m an artist.

Nick Breedon 30:02
Did you have professional practice class when you studying?

Jenna Pippett 30:07
Yeah, we did. And I, but I feel like when we were at school, that was always the, like the slug of a class. You know, some some people that went to art school that had, you know, arrived at art school later in life, they already had businesses and so I remember them getting like a pass or they get got accreditation or whatever, to not have to sit this class. And, and yet, looking back like I’m sure that they’re kicking themselves because it was such an important class.

Nick Breedon 30:38
Yeah. So I you felt like you actually learnt alot?

Jenna Pippett 30:40
I do. I also wish that I paid more attention. Because, yeah, I remember we, you know, we’d go on excursions, and you’d hear from artists. And, you know, hearing from artists is great, but doing all the like mock assignments that we had to, you know, put in a fake proposal and all that kind of stuff. I remember thinking, like, you know, we’ve just got to, we just got to do this, I want to get back into making. But you don’t realize, until you leave art school, how much how much of being an artist is admin.

Yeah. Oh, my God so much. I wish I could see like, a pie chart or something.

Nick Breedon 31:20
I totally was just thinking of a pie chart I want to see it.It

Kiera Brew Kurec 31:25
I wish I had loged all my hours so I could see what, what I’ve actually done and how much.

Jenna Pippett 31:32
It would be confronting thing to see. Like, I don’t know, if I really want to be confronted with the reality of how much of you know, how much of it is putting in an application and then never hearing back or Yeah, getting those getting those nos. But yeah, that that also is an important process in itself that you’ve written, put the time into, you know, practicing how to put together a, an application that yeah, I think you might have a romantic idea of going to art school and spending your days, you know, in the sun, like making things and the reality is that you spend so much time doing admin and running a small business.

Kiera Brew Kurec 32:18
I think it would also be beneficial to kind of have, like a professional practice class, when you’re kind of entering into your mid career section. Because when you’re an emerging artist, there is there are quite a lot of grants that are available for specific age ranges, or certain amount of years out of university, that they’re amazing. And they provide incredible opportunities. But they’re also assessed, understanding that these people have just graduated from university and that their documentation, the amount of shows that they’ve had, etc, are going to be of a certain level of a recent graduate, or, like, emerging part of someone’s practice. But I feel like at other times when you’re entering into other stages of your career, and the kind of pool of people that you’re competing against widens even further with people who

Nick Breedon 33:15
have all been practicing 20 years.

Kiera Brew Kurec 33:16
Yeah. How to how to re kind of like a check in to make sure that, you know, if you’re still kind of using correct language, in terms of hitting key selection criteria, what kind of documentation is appropriate?

Nick Breedon 33:36
It’s like Pro Prac summer school 2021 (Laughter).

Kiera Brew Kurec 33:44
But um, yeah, cuz it is a funny thing that happens after you’ve kind of gone through that emerging wave where there’s a lot of opportunities, and it’s really great. Yeah, you kind of like, hit a bit of a plateau of like, Oh, this is some new terrain that I haven’t yet experienced.

Nick Breedon 34:01
It’s like, it’s quite interesting, the change that seems to be happening where people are doing their master’s degrees much when they’re much younger, or, you know, much closer to when they’ve studied undergrad and I’m wondering if that you know, if that’s what masters used to kind of be a little bit that people would be sort of hitting mid career and then they would, you know, kind of follow up with a postgraduate education or at least that it used to kind of fill that position much more. You know, you go straight into a PhD after undergrad like, Where do you get more professional development and critique and like feedback from?

Kiera Brew Kurec 34:42
Yeah, well, I don’t think the university’s role in a PhD is for professional development in that way.

Nick Breedon 34:48
No, but you do you do get you know, university can be such a great time of like, just being around so many people and having so much in your you know, stuff exposed that, you know, you can take stuff in to your lecturers and be like this, you know, what am I doing wrong? Or can you look at this or ask for feedback? Or? You know it? Yeah, it isn’t, it isn’t so much the professional development aspect in that sense of doing your tax or whatever it is. But, you know, I think, I think at least in terms of career development.

Kiera Brew Kurec 35:24
I would like to be able to have, you know, how, I mean, there are career development grants, but I was speaking with a friend of mine, who she works in the arts, but isn’t an artist and had approached her employer for some career development in terms of doing some training in certain sectors to be able to bring back certain things to the company that she was working for. How cool would that be if we could just like upgrade our skills with, you know, have that available? But, you know, I guess there’s Aus Co career development grant.

Jenna Pippett 36:01
Like, yeah, as an emerging artist, there’s like some, you know, little checkboxes that you you feel like you want to you want to hit those milestones as you go. And then you get to that, like, I’m in that point where I’m like, seven years out of school and a lot of my, you know, good friends are as well and you kind of like, Alright, so now I’m floating out here, like, Where do I anchor myself? Like, what am I? What am I looking for, for the next thing to, you know, to continue practicing and to? Yeah, to keep keep that that rhythm going. But it does. I think that for that early, early career to mid career, and certainly in Adelaide, there’s, there’s not a lot. And we lose so many people interstate I think, to go do masters because there’s only one place. Yeah, it’s just like a, it’s a really, I think this is the real, like, push the push time within an artist’s career by you’ve got to how do you keep this sustainable? And how do you keep on going?

Nick Breedon 37:07
I feel like you just nailed the questions there. Yeah, I do. I do feel like, there is this transfer period, you know, of a couple of years where people do kind of like rush through, you know, they’ve come straight out of the gate. And they’re like, yes, yes, yes. Yes. And kicking lots of goals. And then and then it’s like, yeah, it is really, really hard and like, your life is happening. And you’re like, Okay, what, what do I What am I? What’s my priority here to keep going with this? Like, how do I make this sustainable? Yeah, and how do I? How do I justify spending so much of my time and my life and my money on this? When it’s only when it’s giving me this much? Like, do I need to do less on it? Do I need to make it more satisfying? Do I need it to pay me more money or like, whatever it is, I feel like there is a kind of pivot point that seems to happen. And you know, for people sort of, yeah, in that, in that weird time between emerging and mid career, a bit of a bit of a weird Limbo. What does a week in the life of Jenna Pippett look like? Probably, you know, you’re living it up over in the sunshine right now. But maybe, back home when you’re just like, you know, getting through teenage art life? Yeah. Can you give us a week?

Jenna Pippett 38:27
Yeah, absolutely. So currently, I’m working at the commercial space, four days a week, which I guess I’m I see myself as in Yeah, like what we talked about before, like almost a hibernation point, like financially, it’s great. But creatively, it’s, it’s a struggle. So I’m working four days a week. And the time that I do get to go to the studio is very precious. But I guess I’m also lucky in that I don’t, I work I work on a computer and my studio space looks somewhat like an office with some, you know, photographic storage equipmentin there. So really, I can work. I can work anywhere. But I think that there’s, you know, it’s such an important thing to be able to go to a space and work get into that headspace. But on the days that I do go to the studio, I usually visit my grandparents first. So I like to pop in and see them. So my grandpa’s in a nursing home. And my grandma visits him every day. So I know that she’ll be there from her, like her work hours that she’s assigned to herself. Because Yeah, I guess my Czech grandparents are a huge source of inspiration for me and I am, you know, very close to them. And yeah, a lot of the work that I make is speaks about, I guess capturing those family histories or like anecdotal stories that when they pass, they obviously won’t be able to, you know, they won’t be here anymore. So, I normaly start the day with a visit to them, which, you know, I hear about all their health ailments and complaints about, you know, suss neighbors and my grandma is natoriously crazy and has always got cake to feed you. (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 40:23

Jenna Pippett 40:25
But I love them dearly. And they, yeah, they completely batty. My grandma called me before I left to go to Venice, and spoke to me for about 10 minutes with a warning about gypsies because she believes that gypsies have got magical powers and that, you know, they’re gonna theive from me to do something else with me as well. So yeah, she, she’s a weird one. But yes, I’d normally start with the visit with them, check in with them and then go to the studio. I’ve got a studio just out of the CBD. It’s like five minutes out ofthe CBD. And there’s about 15 or so people in this place called blue roller studio. And yeah, there’s, it’s actually a pretty active studio. It’s been around for maybe five years. And I think for me, the going to the studio and having other other people around to give feedback or to you know, nut out your latest crazy idea is a really important environment to be part of, because otherwise it can feel like you’re screaming into the wind a little bit.

Nick Breedon 41:35
Do you have any, like other kind of practices that you do alongside your art practice, like a fitness practice or anything like that, that you do to keep yourself sane?

Jenna Pippett 41:46
Um, well, I do play, I play a social netball game. Weekly, and we have an art netball team called Van Goal. (Laughter)

Nick Breedon 42:01
That is so beautiful.

Jenna Pippett 42:05
And so I hated netball in school. I always thought it was like super lame that, you know, it was a girls sport and I had to wear a skirt and all that kind of stuff. And I was like, not into it. But mixed netball playing with a group of artists is Yeah, is the best.

Nick Breedon 42:25
Sounds brutal?

Jenna Pippett 42:27
is the best thing because you don’t? Yeah. Oh my God, if you guys come to Adelaide, you have to come play a game with us.

Nick Breedon 42:33
I dont know if I am game enough?

Jenna Pippett 42:36
Yes its like $4 beers at this little place afterwards. It’s incredible. So we’re playing up against, you know, often these really youthful young people. But you know, you see all these arts. There’s lots of arts admin people and lots of artists. And it’s a funny environment to see these people that you normally only see exhibition openings or whatever, but just like get sweaty and messy on the court. (Laughter)

Kiera Brew Kurec 43:05
that’s so fun!

Jenna Pippett 43:06
Yeah, that’s it. And so yeah, we’ve got a few new recruits. It’s a great way for people to I guess, you know, netball is a relatively easy spot to pick up. And I’ve made a number of new friends, new arts friends through this team. But yeah, it’s just a bit of dumb fun. And I think that you kind of need that output.

Nick Breedon 43:25
Yeah, um, you seem to be a person that is around people constantly. Very active socially. Do you need to have any downtime or time away from people? Or are you like very extroverted and find that gives you a lot of energy?

Jenna Pippett 43:45
Yeah, I think my partner is always criticizing me about maybe how much time I spend. I think he’s someone he enjoys alone time. He enjoys his alone time and you know, time to diffuse that. I think, for me, if I’m feeling anxious, or like, I think I need people around me constantly. Yeah, and we were, we were faced with a difficult thing about 12 months ago, a friend of mine, who was in our graduating group of 11 took her own life. And I guess so this last 12 months has been a bit of a weird time. My very, like close group of art school graduates because it was only a small group of us. So we’re all still very much in touch Adelaide is a small community as well. And yeah, I guess since that has happened, I’ve probably done more. I think I’ve probably put myself out there a little bit more socially. And yeah, if I’m ever feeling a little bit anxious or a little bit, you know, down I like to fill my days with social things where there’s, you know, my partner is someone who likes to have Yeah, likes to have like downtime, time away from people. But for me, it’s like, I guess I’ve really tried to fill my time with seeing lots of people. Yeah. And so I guess the last 12 months has been a been a weird time for making art as well. Because I have been active a lot socially.

Kiera Brew Kurec 45:17
Yeah, it sounds like you put a lot into though creating support networks for yourself and for others, and creating community.

Jenna Pippett 45:25
Yeah. And I think that that’s something that Adelaide is really good at. There’s lots of people who are new to Adelaide, there’s lots of communities, visual arts communities that are easily accessible and willing to, you know, let people in. I don’t think that we’ve got too many, like, negative spaces that people don’t want to engage in. Yeah. And, you know, there are weird things like art social netball, and, and, you know, openings. Openings in Adelaide are always very well attended. Because they, you know, there’s only limited spaces, but yeah, there’s certainly avenues for people to, to kind of get out there. But yeah, and I do acknowledge that it is important to be able to diffuse, you know, away from these things as well. But I think the last 12 months for me has really been about like, filling my day.

Nick Breedon 46:23
In your relationship have you ever found that to be a bit of a challenge, where, you know, one of you is obviously a lot more sociable, and the other one is maybe a little less sociable? Has there ever been like a kind of a, you know, both being kind of in the arts? You know, is that something that you have to kind of try and balance together?

Jenna Pippett 46:46
Yeah, definitely. Because you know, you gotta have, you gotta have time to yourself and time with your partner, as well, to keep it to keep any relationship, you know, happening. But, yeah, I think that the, maybe the difficult thing about being having a partner within the arts is, yeah, is being able to have non arts friends like to have people outside of the bubble. Because otherwise it can just be, yeah, it can be. You work with the same people as you socialize with the same people. And I guess that’s why my family is so important, because they provide this, you know, someone to go see a dumb movie with. Yeah, it doesn’t have to always be inriching.

Nick Breedon 47:31
Yeah. Yeah, we’re always lamenting together that, you know, seeing, seeing, like a crap film now just doesn’t, you know, you just can’t help but like, critically, disect to the entire film. And it’s like, I can’t even just go to the movies anymore. I’ve ruined everything.

Kiera Brew Kurec 47:52
I do have a friend though, that like has the same taste in pop culture and YouTubers, as me and I cherished my conversations with her because it’s so out of the art world. And it’s so obscure that no one else would ever think to find on the internet. And it’s actually crazy that we both ended up in this same little hole of the internet together, but I need those conversations, and I need that escapism to be able to like, enter back into art conversations.

Jenna Pippett 48:24
Yeah, it’s a pressure valve.

Nick Breedon 48:27
For sure. On that, I was just wondering if you’re able to share any influential resources or anything that has assisted you and your practice?

Jenna Pippett 48:42
Currently, I am, I guess, like two sides of the coin. And in my practice, I’m really delving further into the family history side of things, and so I am using like, the National Library of Australia resource and Trove, to kind of look at all these old newspapers and yeah, it’s a wealth of resource. But yeah, I guess in terms of, you know, finding the weird place in the internet, I’m really into looking at magic. Um, I guess, as a as an video artist, the things that you know, really get me is when someone used technology in a fascinating way to maybe do a little bit of trickery. And so in some ways artists can be like, magicians. And there is something kind of dumb and fun watching those magic shows and seeing how people are wowed and dazzled by it, even though you know that it’s it’s a practical, real world thing. You kind of you know, Yeah, yeah, creating that other experience for people so, heavy on the research, family history and then just a little bit of dumb magic.

Nick Breedon 50:12
Yeah, I thought before when you were talking about Fringe Festival, I thought I like just detected the slightest amount of cringy cringe on the magic aspect of the fringe. So I think you’re really revealing your true feelings now. (Laughter)

Jenna Pippett 50:31
I could publicly go to a magic show though.

Kiera Brew Kurec 50:33
Really? Maybe you need to put on on?

Nick Breedon 50:34
To much audience participation! I couldn’t do it. I’m just like, no, don’t you dare call me on stage. And they always want to call you on stage when you’re the person who’s just like, sweating bullets just like trying to avoid eye contact, or like, you come up on stage like, no, I wish I was dead.

Jenna Pippett 50:54
Why did they pick me? How do they know? There’s this saftey of watching it on a computer screen (Laughter). So they are my two things at the moment.

Nick Breedon 51:10
Yeah. Have you? Have you ever gotten into like, like, or anything like that? Um, you know, there’s all kind of online.

Jenna Pippett 51:18
Yeah totally.

Nick Breedon 51:19
Yeah, right. Have you found that experience?

Jenna Pippett 51:22
Yeah okay., I guess, I know, for me that certainly the Czech side of my family that, you know, come from very, like poor farming background. So the records are pretty limited. Yeah. But I recently, last couple of months, I found my grandparents were listed on like a secret police watch list.

Nick Breedon 51:47

I know, it’s my latest obsession. And so I’ve been emailing this person in the Czech Republic, who that this is some company, I cant remember what it’s called, but is this company that they it’s a government like a branch of government. And their mission is to, I guess, make all this information accessible to the public. And certainly to those people who were, who are on the watch list. And because you know, it demystifies it and it’s giving that power back to the people. And so I am emailing this person Veronica, and I pay a small fee for them to scan documents to send it back to Australia. It’s not digitized. But yeah, it’s it’s 70 pages. concerning my grandparents. My mind is running wild as to what? Like, you know what?

We need to have a follow up episode.

Kiera Brew Kurec 52:51

Jenna Pippett 52:54
Yeah, it’s it’s super exciting. And my grandparents that you know, the most average people.

Kiera Brew Kurec 52:59
Do they know that this exists? Have you told them?

Jenna Pippett 53:03
Yeah, I have I told my grandma and she’s like, what will be on there? There won’t be anything. Yeah, but just the act you that someone recorded you. It probably will just be something like we know that they were not in the country. There was some kind of census or something like that. Yeah, because they left illegally. And my grandpa is very anti communism. And yeah, but they were just restaurant workers, nothing special about them. But the idea that maybe…..

Nick Breedon 53:36
they’re actually spies. (Laughter)

Jenna Pippett 53:39
I know! I would love it if they were spies But yeah, so those online resources have Yeah, looking into family history and like articles that are written that maybe feature them or like even just there is so much information on like flights and incoming boats and all that kind of stuff that Australia has digitized and you can just access it really easily. But in terms of accessing military records in Europe, you’ve got to be a bit more proactive in getting access to those things, because they’re not just they’re not just out there. Yeah, yeah. But it takes time to do these things. But yeah, it’s fascinating. Secret Police what do they want?

Kiera Brew Kurec 54:25
So interesting. I really want to find out when you get those document?

Jenna Pippett 54:29
I’ll let you know.

Nick Breedon 54:33
Yeah. Wow. That’s what uh, I’m glad I asked. So if you could travel back through time, to the start of your career. What would you tell yourself that you know now?

Jenna Pippett 54:49
I think the Yeah, I think I tell myself to not feel anxious about putting in any applications even just yust the process of putting something together. And clicking send is is a learning experience in itself. I think certainly as an emerging artist, you know, you lament a lot on oh, what will they think blah, blah, blah? Yeah. But yeah, you’ve really just got to. Yeah, I think that sometimes anxiety can be crippling and certainly within the arts it’s a very prevalent thing. Yeah, just yeah. Don’t feel anxious about it. Just do it.

Kiera Brew Kurec 55:33
That’s really great advice

Jenna Pippett 55:38
And I think, maybe second to that, like, don’t don’t work so much. Have some time off.

Kiera Brew Kurec 55:48

Jenna Pippett 55:50
That’s right. Everything in moderation.

Kiera Brew Kurec 55:53
Yeah. Yeah. It’s really hard though when you’re out of uni there is so much energy and excitement and, you know, wanting to make sure that you make your mark and get in there. And it’s hard to when you have to, you know, take take stock and be like, Oh, I need to slow down. Like, that’s, I feel like that’s something I’m continuously trying to learn.

Jenna Pippett 56:22
Yeah, because you don’t want you know, other aspects of your life to suffer because of that. Yeah. That whole constant balancing.

Kiera Brew Kurec 56:31
Yeah, it’s like, right back at the beginning, again, with what you said about that challenge, so that might be a really nice place to leave it.

Jenna Pippett 56:39
Yeah cool.

Kiera Brew Kurec 56:41
Thank you so much Jenna.

Nick Breedon 56:42
Thanks so much for speaking with us today.

Jenna Pippett 56:44
Thanks for the chat.

Kiera Brew Kurec 56:45
And, you know, taking the time while you’re, you could be enjoying something delicious for breakfast in Venice right now.

Jenna Pippett 56:53
There is still plenty of time for breakfast, I have the whole day.

Kiera Brew Kurec 56:59
thanks again for joining us on the show today.

Nick Breedon 57:02
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 57:14
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 at @propracpodcast, or send us an email at