135: (Literally) Writing the Book on Art and Parenthood with Hettie Judah

Artist/Mother Podcast
Artist/Mother Podcast
135: (Literally) Writing the Book on Art and Parenthood with Hettie Judah

This week’s podcast episode features journalist and writer Hettie Judah. We’re proud and grateful to be able to share some time with such a critical voice in the world of art. She’s written in publications from Vogue to The New York Times (just look at this list), and as if that weren’t impressive enough, her bio (click here!) reads like a list of ways she’s made marks on the world–leaving the art community all the better for it. She’s a major contributor in the conversation surrounding advocacy for artists in general, and specifically for artists who are parents. In fact, she’s recently written the book, “How Not To Exclude Artist Mothers (and Other Parents)” (which is now available here!!). We’re so happy to have her here on the Artist/Mother Podcast this week so we can talk about those very things.

In today’s episode, we move through Judah’s entire life as a writer, parent, and supporter of the arts. In her early twenties in Glascow, she had already begun writing in magazines and newspapers about the resurgence of art and contemporary culture by which she was surrounded. The trajectory of her career as a journalist were “disrupted” by moves around the world (Washington D.C., Belgium, and Istanbul) and by a very relatable subject at our podcast: parenthood. Suddenly, she was single-parenting and a working mother. She defines this period of her own life as a time when she had “legacy” but “not currency,” as a journalist,  as she describes rewriting the story and recreating her career as a single Mom. It’s always refreshing to discuss this common thread in the work of Artist/Mothers. It’s especially enlightening from Judah’s perspective as a writer, and even moreso as a writer whose recent work aims to circumvent the system already in existence in order to create something better. 

Judah gives us a thorough behind-the-scenes look at her book, “How Not to Exclude Artist Mothers and Other Parents”. She took a methodical, research-based approach to her book, which was only bolstered by the isolation of the pandemic. With the time afforded to her in the pandemic’s early days, she paired the voices and stories of artist/mothers with research to weave common threads and actionable resources. (Some guidelines you should read when you have the chance, which stemmed from this research:  “How Not To Exclude Artist Parents: Some Guidelines for Institutions and Residencies”).  The whole episode is a fabulous listen. It’s certainly “one for the books” as we engage in rich dialogue about the fragmented, moving parts of parenthood and the way forward for Artist/Mothers. 

Final Five:
Biggest Art Crush: “Sexy” crush–Jacqueline Lamba / Non-sexy crush– “a throuple with Paula Rego and Alice Neel

Favorite Place to Travel or a Dream Trip: Japan

Favorite/Inspirational Film or Book: “The Mind in The Cave: Consciousness and the Origins of Art” by David Lewis-Williams / Maggie Nelson’s “The Argonauts” 

Favorite Meal: Anything with artichokes 

Shout-out: Hettie’s partner Ben Leahy / Dyana Gravina / Dr. Kate McMillan 

To see more of Hettie Judah’s work please visit her website (linked here: Hettie Judah) and follow her on IG: @hettiejudah. You can join Hettie to celebrate the Lund Humphries publication of How Not to Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents) at 11am and 5pm on 29 September at TJ Boulting Gallery.

The Artist/Mother podcast is created and hosted by Kaylan Buteyn. You can see more of Kaylan’s work on her website or connect with her on Instagram @kaylanbuteyn.

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