Welcome to the SUKU Home Pillow Talk series, where we delve into the lives of our creative community and explore how their homes shape their artistic practice.
In this edition, we had the privilege of speaking with Jazz Money, a prolific poet and artist of Wiradjuri heritage. Jazz's artistic repertoire encompasses a diverse range of mediums, including installation, digital art, performance, film, and print. Their work has garnered international recognition and has been featured on prestigious stages around the world, from TEDx Sydney to the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Sydney Opera House to Literature Live! Mumbai, and many more.
We explored Jazz's morning routine, their relationship with different forms of artistic expression, and the importance of maintaining a sacred home space separate from work.
Join us as we discuss Jazz Money's creative journey and discuss the profound narratives of memory, legacy, and identity that thread through their captivating body of work.
Run us through a typical day in the life, shall we start with your morning routine?
I start most days walking around Sydney Park with my wife Jen, our dog Kip and a hot cup of black coffee. Over breakfast we listen to the radio and potter about the house before I walk to my studio in the Clothing Store at Carriageworks. I am a podcast addict and am always listening to something on my walks. On weekends everything is much slower and often involves tea in bed, some incense and a record playing.
Most of your work is extremely personal, from poetry to TED talks, how do you carve out a public identity that still leaves room for privacy?
I think of my work as locating the personal in the political, and as a queer Indigenous woman the personal is political. I am interested in how narrative is used to construct meaning and so story telling and poetry are the tools I reach for. It’s a peculiar privilege having a platform, however small, and I am deliberate that I want to use my voice in productive ways. It involves being vulnerable in public but I think there is strength in that, it allows for connection and deeper engagement.
As a multi-disciplinary artist, do you feel a strong pull towards one medium? Or is that like picking a favourite child.
I try to let the ideas guide the medium! But often I’ll be curious about a certain tool or space or challenge which will motivate the outcome. I have a background in film making so I often find myself working in that form as my mind goes there easily. Of course, there is something special about print and publishing, so I feel incredibly lucky to work in that space too.
How does your home impact your writing process?
I’ve recently begun to try to keep my home separate from my work – which includes writing. There is something really nourishing about having home as a sacred space, which then allows for working hours to be defined and productive. It doesn’t always play out like that of course! But I’m very grateful to be able to try to carve out a calm centre in the middle of a mad city.
Introvert or extrovert?
Bit of both? Even though I think most people who know me would describe me as an extrovert, I really crave quiet and home time amongst busy life.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I write wherever an idea strikes, but my favourite place is sitting by freshwater, thinking about time and Country and kin.
What are the 3 most important things in your home?
Of the non-living inhabitants of the house I am particularly attached to the art, the records and the bed!
Which First Nations artists are inspiring you at the moment?
Everyone! There are too many to list here and I am constantly awed by the generosity of work coming out of our community. I’m also conscious that some of the most important work being made by First Nations artists happens at home or away from the limelight, by people who don’t necessarily self describe as artists but are the absolute backbone of Blak story and spirit.
I’m reading Personal Score by Ellen van Neerven at the moment which is a masterpiece of form and research and vulnerability. And I recently saw Shadow Spirit in naarm/Melbourne, curated by Kimberley Moulton for Rising Festival – everything in the exhibition is incredible and utterly inspiring.
What has been the highlight of sharing your work with the world?
The moments where folk, particularly mob, come up to me after a reading or talk and say that they’ve been inspired to create something are incredibly moving. The best part of sharing work is being part of a community of people I love and respect, and I’m so grateful for that.