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The podcast ditching stuffy art lectures for friendly creative chats

The Artfully Podcast is bringing art news, gossip, and history you thought you knew – or always wished you did – straight to your ears

By Ally Faughnan

Meet Jessie and Liz. Individually, they are art lovers, forging their own careers in the creative industry. Together, they make up the Artfully Podcast, which unsurprisingly is (you guessed it) a podcast full of art. From reviewing blockbuster exhibitions to smaller gallery shows, having a casual gossip about what’s been going on in the art world, and adding in a bit of art history chat that that won’t make you fall asleep, the Artfully Podcast is moving away from being a stuffy, elitist lecture on art to bring you fun, frank conversations.

So far they’ve spotlighted artists such as Lee Krasner and Faith Ringgold, dived into the controversy of social media censorship against artists, and addressed the age-old question: Kim K vs. Warhol. Get to know the Artfully hosts and find out more about the voices behind the podcast.

Courtesy of Artfully Podcast

You’re still (kind of) newbies on the podcast scene. What made you want to start the Artfully Podcast?

Jessie: We’ve known each other for a long time, and our friendship began when we worked together for an art gallery. We’ve always enjoyed talking to each other about what exhibitions we’ve seen, art world news, and artists we admire. And we’re both massive fans of podcasts, so we wondered if our conversations would work well being recorded! It was nerve wracking, because we may think we’re interesting, but had no idea if anyone else would think so!

There’s always so much going on in the art world! How do you keep up with it all and chose what to cover in your episodes?

Jessie: The podcast is a great discipliner, since we started it we’ve both found that we end up going to more exhibitions. We try and look ahead all the time – I keep a note on my phone and jot down any exhibition that takes my interest. We also try to find a balance between big blockbuster museum exhibitions, and smaller commercial gallery shows with less well known artists. Personally, I love an exhibition with a story, something I can get my teeth into. My academic background is in museums, so I’m open to any kind of exhibition – not just art. I love discovering new narratives in art and history.

“We like fun or different news stories in the art world, we bloody love an art heist!” – Liz

Liz: I think we try to cover what genuinely excites us! And we both learn a lot from each other’s choices and personal tastes too which keeps each episode fresh as we don't know what the other one is going to talk about show wise. We like fun or different news stories in the art world, we bloody love an art heist! To finish it off we always do an artist focus each episode to bring in some consistent art inspiration from the greats.

So, what can we find you doing when you’re not recording an episode?

Jessie: I work in communications for an architectural practice, as I’ve been steadily moving into design in my career. I’m also part of a very relaxed book club which pushes me to read books I wouldn’t necessarily choose and, importantly, eat good food! Every once in a while you may find me with a paintbrush in hand, but I struggle motivating myself and finding the time.

Liz: I'm a painter so I'm either getting messy in the studio or I'm chasing around after my toddler!

Courtesy of Artfully Podcast

Quick-fire round…

Fave podcasts (other than your own)?

Jessie: I would be disloyal to myself if I didn’t say Desert Island Discs. It is a classic, and my all-time favourite. I also like The Art Newspaper, The Apollo Podcast, and The High Low.

Liz: I like funny ones, Dear Joan and Jericha is so out there but brilliant. Off Menu, Table Manners, How to Fail, and The High Low are also great.

Best exhibition by a female artist you saw last year?

Jessie: It would have to be Faith Ringgold at the Serpentine this summer. She’s very established in the US, but it was her first exhibition in an European institution, and it was a discovery for me. Her work cuts through so many significant chapters in American history in a style unique to her. We can all learn so much from her.

Liz: The Lee Krasner retrospective at the Barbican was outstanding and so inspiring. However the best show of a living artist would definitely be Bridget Riley at the Hayward.

Female artists on your radar for 2020?

Jessie: Quite an established name already, but I love the work of Caroline Walker. An ex-colleague introduced me to her, and then I discovered more of her work at the Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh. I think Liz and I are both fans of domestic scenes, particularly by women artists – and Caroline does them so well!

Also on my radar is painter Louise Giovanelli. She takes existing works as her inspiration (a 14th century Christian painting for example) and then produces series of very contemporary works in response. They’re referential and simultaneously highly original.

Liz: Painters Jadé Fadojutimi and Claire Tabouret are doing amazingly and I adore their work.

Why not check out the Artfully podcast on Instagram while listening to one of their recent episodes.

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