Jazz Money is an artist of Wiradjuri and Irish descent who lives in Sydney. Trained as a filmmaker and educator, Money has spent the last decade working as a poet and author. More recently, they have transformed their practice–still centred on the written word–into installation, digital works and performance.

For Inner Sanctum, Money presents two bodies of work, united by their interventional style. All Our Seasons (2023-24), first presented at the Ace Hotel in Sydney, is a suite of 52 A2-sized digital prints. Each ‘card’ in Money’s deck of images (representing perhaps weeks of the year or a deck of playing cards) features the reproduction of an enigmatic photograph, drawn from the artist’s personal albums and captioned with an open-ended poetic phrase: ‘together where the world ends’, ‘strange joys and distant pleasures’ or ‘caught in gentle light’. The images themselves are equally open-ended: blurred marigolds at a flower market, an empty side of the road scene, a domestic still life basking in long golden afternoon light. Largely devoid of any signifiers or recognisable people, who might otherwise tie down the meaning of the images, Money’s images could be anytime and anyplace.

All our Seasons is presented throughout the laneways of Adelaide’s CBD, taking Money’s poetry into the public realm. Glimpsed between buildings, abutting shop fronts or found alongside back alley city detritus, the physical intervention of All Our Seasons is reflected in the imagery itself. Together, the text and image captures something transitory – an overlooked moment between moments. “The piece is a call and response between images, text and the audience to become a kind of ‘choose-your-own-adventure poem.’”[1]

At the Art Gallery of South Australia, Money has presented another intervention, this time in the Melrose Wing of International Art. The twelve-channel sound installation, This is how we love (2023-24), is poetry-turned-lyrics in a song performed by members of the Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Choir. This is how we love was originally commissioned as an anthem for World Pride held in Sydney in 2023, with the arrangement and original composition by Joe Twist. Adapting the work for the gallery context required thinking about the reasons that people gather and sing, and how to translate that sense of community to audiences. As Money explains ‘One of my favourite things about poetry is the meeting of form and function, and so when a piece is going to exist off the page there is a beautiful invitation to consider an additional form and function in that new medium.’[2]

Money has used the voice, and breath, as a poetic device for exploring love. Just as the singer comprises the choir, the individual makes up the collective – a metaphor Money uses to extricate a powerful and unifying force between living things: Brother, sister, sibling, lover, mother – / Those who raise us, save us, make us, / This is how we love. The installation itself similarly acts as one among many, borrowing the power of nearby works to present a multifaceted understanding of love and the human condition.

[1] Jazz Money, ‘All Our Seasons’, artist statement, 2023.

[2] Jazz Money, ‘Writers on Writing: Jazz Money’, Writing NSW, 5 June, 2023.

Books and Articles

Blogg, Phoebe. ‘Wiradjuri poet and artist Jazz Money brings her first feature film to Australia’, National Indigenous Times, 11 October, 2023.

Clark, Maddee. ‘The Influence: Jazz Money’, The Saturday Paper, 11 September, 2021.

Da Silva, José. Inner Sanctum | 18th Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2024.

Low, Lenny Ann. ‘‘I tell people I’m a poet, they’re shocked it’s a viable job’: Jazz Money’, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 August, 2023.

Money, Jazz. how to make a basket. University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 2020.

‘Writers on Writing: Jazz Money’, Writing NSW, 5 June, 2023.

Websites

Jazz Money, artist website.

Videos

‘Bila, A River Cycle | Jazz Money’, Tedx Sydney, video, 8:05mins, 5 August, 2022.

‘Challenging history and place using poetry and First Nations language | Art Works’, ABC TV & iview, Youtube, video, 6:26mins, 5 December, 2021.

  • Money often writes poems in nature, thinking about the power of Country. Sometimes though Money will be inspired to write a poem when in a doctor’s waiting room or in the supermarket. Write two poems: one inspired by your connection to a place that is special to you and another about an ordinary encounter. This might be waiting for public transport, lining up at the canteen or doing chores around the house.
  • Find a piece of writing or work of art you made a couple of years ago. Write a poem or create a work of art in response to your earlier work. Review, revise and perhaps rewrite it.
  • After listening to Money reciting one of her poems, describe how the following features have been used by the artist: intonation, pace, pause and emphasis. Select a poem of your choosing and practice reciting it, considering the features mentioned above. Record your spoken word. Take it further: Select a work of art, write and record a poem in response to it.
  • Create your own artist book consisting of stories, poems, drawings and collages that captures a time and place. You might complete this over the course of a term, with one entry per week. Something might happen that warrants a piece of writing, where as something else might be better suited to a photograph or collage with a caption. Give your artist book a title.
  • Provide each member of the class with 5 sheets of paper. Select a book or series of poems to read to the class. It could even be song lyrics or tag lines from movies – a type of call and response. After reading a small paragraph to the class, allow students an opportunity to write a sentence in response. Repeat this 5 times until each student has 5 responses written on separate pieces of paper. Fold them up and place them in a hat. Have each student pull 5 pieces of paper out of the hat at random. Using these prompts written by other class members, create a collage in response. Students might like to arrange the sentences in an order that most appeals to them or incorporate the text into their collage.
  • In Money’s work All Our Seasons, she curated images that could be anytime and anyplace. Create your own series of anytime and anyplace or open-ended photographs. Consider removing any signifiers that may identify people or places. Share these images with the class – can your classmates identify any of the images as being taken in a particular place or recognise people?

The Gallery’s Learning programs are supported by the Department for Education.

This education resource has been written by Dr. Belinda Howden with contributions from Jazz Money, Kylie Neagle and Dr. Lisa Slade.