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From Heartache to Horticulture, Jane Porter (aka Planty Jane)

Hi, and welcome to The Second Chapter, the podcast where Kristin Duffy, the founder and producer behind Slackline Productions talks to women who started the second, third, or even fourth or fifth chapter in their lives and careers after the age of 35.

Did you know that when you review an independent podcast a podcaster does a happy dance? If you're enjoying The Second Chapter, leave me a rating or review.

And I'll be dancing. Yeah.

Kristin The Second Chapter

This week I'm chatting with Jane Porter, perhaps better known as her Instagram moniker plantyjane. Jane had various jobs ranging from barmaid to arts admin, but didn't feel like her career truly started until enrolling on a horticulture course changed her life.

Jane Porter 0:43

I know a lot of women who have got stuck in administrative roles. And those are quite often kind of roles that people roll along in for a long time. And then think about career change and don't know how to get out of it. So I think just because you're, you've got the ability to do something that just means that's just because you're a capable person. It doesn't mean that that is your thing.

Kristin The Second Chapter 1:05

Thanks for joining me today. It's lovely to get to speak with you. How are you?

Jane 1:09

I'm really good. Thanks. I feel really nervous,

Kristin 1:12

Don't feel nervous! It's funny. Yeah, I feel nervous every time I record and I don't know why. Cuz I'm always just talking to people that are so amazing and so nice. But I think, I don't know, I have my own imposter syndrome where I'm like, why do they want to talk to me? Yeah,

Jane Porter 1:26

I yeah, I've been having that really badly the last few days. But, you know, I'm excited. I'm gonna turn it into excitement.

Kristin The Second Chapter 1:33

Okay, good. Yeah. channelling into adrenaline. Yeah, I have to tell everyone that it was Dolly Parton and my friend Lizzie, that brought us together. Yes, you recently posted on Instagram, an amazing picture from 9 to 5, about career change. So you seemed like the perfect person to come on and talk about your own life changes.

Jane Porter 1:56

I've been thinking for ages about doing post about career change, because it's such an important part of my work and like how I approach it. And that song came on the radio in the car. And then that line "There's a better life. You think about it, don't you?" I was like, that's my work. That's really good. And, and I just love that kind of female camaraderie with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, who I love, and Dolly Parton and how much fun they must have had. And so I was like, yeah, this is what I'm gonna, I'm gonna write about.

Kristin The Second Chapter 2:31

Yeah, and you definitely got a big response to that. Because I think, I think obviously, it's important to me that we all that life keeps going on, and we keep making changes, and we keep growing throughout our lives. But so many people commented and said, Yeah, I agree. And here's what I've done with my life and ask you questions about your own career change?

Jane Porter 2:50

Yeah, it was, and people sent me like private messages as well being like, oh, that really rang true with me. And I think the other thing about might, like the people who I am in touch with on Instagram is, it's nearly all women. And so I've also got this really big female community there. And that's really nice, because I think there's a lot of women like might have a career change after they've had a baby, or, or just, I think, have that thing where they don't know what it is they want to do. And so a lot of people just go in touch saying that kind of thing. And I think gardening or garden design is people always saying to me, if I did something else, that's what I would do. So I think it strikes a chord as a lot of people.

Kristin The Second Chapter 3:35

Obviously, that's my mission -- to tell stories of women after 35. But so many people, I think, a lot of people have said to me why 35 and for me, there is the whole thing about women becoming invisible after 40. But I do think 35 is an interesting age because like you said, sometimes it does have something to do with having a baby, or there's just a confidence level that for some reason that age just tends to start changes. It feels like in life. So yeah, I definitely think there's a big community of us out there.

Jane Porter 4:07

Yeah. I love how specific this podcast is. I feel like it's just for me. And and I think you were saying something in one of your previous recordings about the word, were you saying it was like emerging? There's a lot of opportunities for young, emerging, this kind of thing. And like coming from an arts background like I do this. There's so many things for emerging artists. And there's things from mid career artists as well. But I just really felt like there was no support, really, for someone who was in my position. And there was nothing specific and I just love that this podcast is tuned into that.

Kristin The Second Chapter 4:46

Yeah, I do. I hear the word emerging all the time. And I think it is the thing in the arts now that we're saying like stop saying emerging and mean young. It can be clear to me doesn't mean mid age. It means some He's a bit more established. So I think we all owe starting new things all the time don't make emerging about being 20 years old.

Jane Porter 5:07

Yeah, totally.

Kristin The Second Chapter 5:08

That is my pedestal, I will die on it.

Jane Porter 5:13

Because it really, really fixes people.

Kristin The Second Chapter 5:16

You said to me that you didn't feel like you kind of had a career or you got started until you've now started this new business and career. But I feel like you had so much going on prior to this. You were doing a lot of different things. And maybe you didn't see it as a career. But tell me a bit about what you were doing before. And maybe even Why you didn't see that as really having a career first.

Jane Porter 5:39

Yeah, I think it's because it was quite kind of Betty and the history of me getting jobs from leaving art college, until I got a job at an organisation I really wanted to work at was basically that I just, I just always struggle to get through interviews. And I couldn't seem to convince people that I could do something. And I wasn't the right kind of person or something. So that was really hard. And so I basically had this, because I left three years from finishing school before I studied and went to art college. I was very, like, I moved to London when I was 19. Because I was from the small islands. And I just really wanted to escape. And I went to London, and I literally had a different bar job every week, I was fired. Everything. It was like I worked in slightly different bars and COVID guarded. Like we knew we knew everyone who worked in this restaurant and the girl who moved to London. And we met this guy, and he ran into bars in the West End. And so we just knew, it's like the all the cocktail bars or all the bars in Soho and everything. They were just dial up network, like we could go into any of them and we'd know somebody who was working there and it was all like, so I'd keep getting this stuff. Completely. I would have been out all night or I would just be like really miserable like it was I didn't know I hated working behind a bar.

Kristin The Second Chapter 7:14

To say though, that makes me You're like my idol now because I'm such a nerd. It was like I almost couldn't get fired if I tried because it was like I did. Technically I got fired once from a restaurant job. And I actually talked my way out of it, because I was like you don't understand what happened. Yeah, it was a complete.

Jane Porter 7:36

I talked myself out of it once. I used to work in this French restaurant in Notting Hill. And I just didn't turn off one day and I I got them really late. And the boss was like, tell me why I shouldn't fire you. And I did this. Because I love this place. Okay, fine. You can today. But yeah, so it's all better. So I worked in restaurants for ages. And then I went to art college. And I did loads of waitressing during that. And then I came out of art college and I went and worked for a year as a temp. It was just so I think I just turned to stone. It was so boring. And I was like I have to get out of this. So I went to do a masters and I've moved to Bristol to do that. And I didn't want to leave London but I needed to I was knackered from doing all these jobs. And then I did a film MA in Bristol. And then after that I still couldn't get any jobs. I'd be like a real triumph. If I got the box office job at an art gallery. Like that was a major thing for me. And I only got that because someone else didn't want it. I just couldn't. People wouldn't view me and they'd say, yes, you didn't get the job. Have you thought about going to acting classes to help you get through interviews? Oh, wow. Okay. And then I did while I was doing that box office job. I got a commission as an artist to do a project. And it was with this like public art organisation in Lincolnshire, and I did this commission and I made a piece of work that I hadn't finished. I wasn't happy with it. And when it got shown, I was I was just crushed by it being out there. I'll never forget it. But it was these sort of public artworks sited all over the countryside. And Lincoln shown that the audience would get on a bus and be driven from site to site. And so I was on the bus, and we just been to see mine and I was like that it's just not it's ready. It was awful. And then someone sitting behind me. It was a sort of young guy with his dad and he and I heard him say that one was a bit shit, wasn't it? And I was just like, oh my god. And from that moment, I really decided that I didn't want to be the person Send the artists with my name up. What I found I was much better at was being the producer, the prompt the supporter, the organiser. And by doing that I felt, and I was really good at that. And so after a while, I just did a few of my own projects. But yeah, I realised that I didn't want to be the the artist character.

Kristin The Second Chapter 10:24

It is funny because I feel like sometimes I love acting, but sometimes I get this terrible stage fright, to the point that I know my lines, but like, I'm really concerned that my lines are gonna go. And of course, that just makes it worse. And, and because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, I feel like, Oh my god, it's not perfect. People aren't perfect. You can't be an actor and be perfect if that kind of makes sense. But I know the feeling because doing some producing work, it is really it. There is something about getting everybody together and being able to be the support system behind it. That's equally fulfilling. It answered what I like to do, which was to make things happen. Yeah, a friend of mine always says, Kristen, you get shit done. And that's like getting shit done.

Jane Porter 11:07

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, did all these kind of very Monday working on the front desk and stuff, front of house at galleries. And then I got this job at the Council managing the arts funding. And it was just so administrative. And I think I was quite depressed at the time. It's always been an issue with me. But really, it was just awful. And after a year of doing that job, I just left without having another job to go to. And I went to America, my sister just moved there. And I was I went over to see a friend. And then dawn was in LA. So I went over there. And while I was in America, I got a phone call saying that a job I had interviewed for before I left the person they had offered it to her turned it down. And I was like, this is where I come in. This is my line. So I got it. And it was like my dream job. It was like artists film producer, I done a fine art degree. I've done a film MA and I knew I didn't want to be an artist. I wanted to be the producer. And I was like this is incredible. And I came home and I did that for five years. And I remember going for this like what do you call it when you go meet your boss and you talk about how you doing?

Kristin The Second Chapter 12:25

Like, oh, yeah, like performance? Are you? Yeah,

Jane Porter 12:28

like, I went in for one of those. And they were like, I'm having trouble understanding right now.


Kristin The Second Chapter 12:42

like an Alexa or what is that?

Jane Porter 12:46

wasn't talking to you? Yeah, did that job and I had this psych appraisal, and I was just I love doing this. It's not even like going to work. I just love my job so much like sickening. Like, I was so happy. Anyway, got pregnant. And I, when I went back, basically the organisation was having to close because it lost its funding. Ironically, the same funding I had been working on at the Council two years earlier. And also, they hadn't kept my job for me. I can't really talk about it for legal reasons. But I was made redundant. Yeah, by this time I was pregnant again. So it was really, and because I had to come off. I don't know if I mentioned but when I went just before I went to America, when I finished that other job, I had gone on to antidepressants. I really do think they gave me an upswing that I needed. And then when I had my first kid, I when I was pregnant, I had to come off very quickly. I only found out I was pregnant when I was seven weeks already. And I had to come off them in a week. And it was awful. And so then I had the first kid went back to work, got pregnant again made redundant. And all this time, I was really fine with that antidepressants. But then I was getting worse again. And so then I got made redundant. I had my second baby. And I got a couple of quite fun kind of projects to work on when he was really young. They were like two or three months projects where I sort of manager, I managed to film course for some for young people. And I did this really cool digital art project in Wales just really random. And I was like, Oh, is this how it's going to be now and then literally, nothing else came along. And we had just moved into this house. I'd had to move to house five times with these babies that since I had the first one and we kept getting kicked out of a rental property or one didn't suit us or what yeah, it was just moving. Finally we've got this house and it had this amazing what had a garden and I just caught the gardening bug. And so I started I started getting really interested in it. But then what happened is I couldn't get a job. And then I got another job at the Council. And I didn't realise until I got there that it was the same job I'd been doing before. But this time they called it special project officer.

Why did they call me?

What was I called before something like funding coordinator or something.

Kristin The Second Chapter 15:22

So just to remind everyone, this is the job that you hated, like the job that made you miserable before

Jane Porter 15:29

crying in the toilets kind of job.

Kristin The Second Chapter 15:31

So crying in the toilets, but now they give it a fancy shiny new name, and your back had

Jane Porter 15:38

got there. And it was like walking into a house and being like, hang on, I've been here before. And I cried all the Tomas Tomas. And then it was just so bad. And then one time there was this, what what broke it for me was there was a, there was a conference on of the whole, it was like an art conference. And I was like, Oh, great, I get to go to this. And I don't have to go to the office for two days. I'm going to see everyone I know it's going to I'm so excited. And then I got to the conference. And I bumped into this lovely friend of mine, Liz, and she is an artist. And she was like it was brilliant project, a library. And also like how she's really doing great. And then I realised, oh my god, I know everyone here and they're going to ask me how my work is going, I'm gonna talk about my job. And I started not being able to stop crying like not sobbing, but I couldn't stop water coming out of my eyes. And I was like, Oh my god, I'm doing this in front of a lot of people in a professional capacity and started panicking. Went to the loo lot of going to the loo to cry, went to the loo came out crying. And I just started thinking shit, something's This is really bad. And like the Christmas before that, I'd gone home to my family. And my auntie was like, we're gonna go to this drinks party, I want you to come you know how parents, like people always want to parade you around and stuff. And as I can't go, and I started crying, she said, What's the matter? I said, I can't go because they're all going to ask me what I do. I have to talk about my job. And I just just sat on the sofa and couldn't go. So I knew I was at this conference couldn't stop crying. And I was like, this is it. I've had it. I've had it with this. And I booked I got an appointment with the doctor that evening. And I went in I said I need to go back around to depressants started taking them. And then within a few months, I don't know I don't want it to sound like a fairy tale or something. And I don't know what the exact timing was. But I enrolled on a gardening course, just out of interest, because I didn't know you could get a qualification in horticulture. I thought people just planted stuff.

But that makes sense.

Kristin The Second Chapter 18:00

I always say there's so many opportunities out there. And if I knew about all of them, I'd be in real trouble because I'm interested in everything. But when you do find, nobody tells you. I used to make a joke with my ex like, we he spent some time living near the Coast Guard Academy in America in Connecticut. And I'd always say nobody told me I could be part of the Coast Guard. I don't think I want to be the Coast Guard. But I wanted to know that I could do that. Yeah, you don't always get here is everything you can do in life. But when you find it,

Jane Porter 18:33

I know. It was pretty weird. And I just wanted to do this course because I was interested. And I really didn't think that it would ever turn into anything. I didn't have any vision for what I wanted to do. I just wanted to do this course to learn about plants. But what happened is that I started to get a few like little gardening jobs. And because my crappy job was part time, I thought what I'm going to do is fake like this video, but it's really important phasing. What am I doing? I put my hands horizontally, moving them slowly over each other like tectonic plates. It's like a slow motion version of that Tiffany dance. So I just basically built up enough work. And then I got to the point where I was like, I thought I don't have time to do that job. Someone's just asked me to do because I'm working at this shitty job at the Council. I was like now I'm gonna drop it. I'm just going to drop it. Because there's no way I'm not going to do that because I'm doing that. So did I left and I literally had just been flat out since then. I haven't got a website or anything. It's a little bit fly by the seat of my pants, but it's been I have not looked

Kristin The Second Chapter 19:47

back. Yeah, I'm amazed because you have an Instagram account with a lot of people following you but you have a really crappy Facebook

Jane Porter 19:54

page. Don't ever get

Kristin The Second Chapter 19:58

and yet it seems like People are coming to you and asking you how to do their gardens. Yeah,

Jane Porter 20:03

what was really weird is, I think that was one of the biggest things that told me I was going to be okay was that you know how I said I would do interviews for art stuff and just couldn't convince people that I could do a job with with the garden staff. It's people thought I could do it. Before I did. None of the people I was doing guns for. They didn't ask to see any previous work. They were just like, they just believed me. And I was like this. I have never had this before. But I felt so confident and so comfortable about it. I must have been convincing. But it was so wonderful for me because I felt like I wasn't pushing this boulder up a hill I was rolling was great. Yeah.

Kristin The Second Chapter 20:45

Why do you think I just spoke with somebody a couple of episodes ago, who ended up garden photography for similar reasons. So she'd moved around and had this amazing garden and saw it as an artist with the light. And she wanted to take pictures of it. As somebody with the said, you didn't want your name on art. But you did have an arts background. So was there ever a moment that it was more leaning toward? I want to make pictures or paintings or? Or was it really always, I just want to know more about plants?

Jane Porter 21:13

Oh, never. Yeah, never to make pictures or anything like that. For me, I really found I got to the point where the art, let's say art world wasn't what it was cracked up to be. For me. It wasn't fun. There wasn't loads of parties, it was everyone's under pressure. Everyone's trying to get funding as an air of fear. And so for me, I was like, a lot of things about the arts were quite detached from real life. And I found as soon as I started doing gardens, and this sounds really cheesy, I don't know how to put it a better way. But what I was doing people were living with, and it was really part of their actual day to day life. Whilst I found that things to do with art, were less engaged with people and engage with less people. And yeah, I don't know, I just liked the fact that people would be living in and using what I did for them. And so I, when I started thinking about it in terms of art, that's how I saw it never in terms of a painting or a piece of work like that. I wanted it. It was about being in it.

Kristin The Second Chapter 22:23

And you said something about the art world always I know about this well, but the kind of era of fear and funding and everything like that. But I know you also mentioned to me before we record recording that you come from a family of self employed people and you've found your niche, it is self employed, your own business kind of thing. How do you avoid that error of fear? Because I guess being flat out helps. But there's always that sort of what if people don't want my work? Or what if

Jane Porter 22:52

it stops, or sometimes I do think that but usually I one thing I do is to hustle if I don't have much work on AI it energises me to think that I need to go out and get work and generate it. So I need to contact some people, I need to do a post, I need to call someone to see if they need to help some help with anything I need to, like I have, there's loads of things I do that can generate work. And I think about those rather than what if that doesn't happen?

Kristin The Second Chapter 23:24

I think having your own business or being self employed is really scary for a lot of people. I get scared all the time. How do I make money? How do I continue this. So I think it's interesting that your confidence seemed to flourish so much more at a point that you could be really scared. It's not it's easy in a way to stay in a job that you're miserable. You're going to get a paycheck, versus let's just start man thing. And yeah, suddenly have all this confidence.

Jane Porter 23:51

I think for me, I just get such a kick out of making money, if you not in a greedy way. But just in a if you've got if you're working in a job with a paycheck, like it's constant was for me, the more I do, the more money I make, and that is motivating. And that really, I get a lot of energy out of that. I think what I'm saying is it's proportional. Like, the harder I work, the more I get rewarded for it, that's motivating my whole family self employed. And I didn't realise this until I finished until I started this. I went through every person I was like, nobody works for anything else. Anyone else. Even my mom or my dad's side. And I think the other thing that I realised a really long time ago was that things that I do on my own in my life work out really quite well. Things I do with other people may or may not and I'm not very good. I'm really easily overpowered by another person and I much prefer Being able to make my own decisions like I used to do a lot of I trained as an outdoor yeah, I forgot this whole bit. I trained as an outdoor instructor as well, like in the between going to university between school and going to art college. And, and that came out of having gone to summer camp for three years in the 90s. And taught as an outdoor staff, my job was head of pioneering just my finest job besides that time, and that that came out of being sent on an Outward Bound course when I was 17. And that came out of being forced to do Duke of Edinburgh award when I was 14, because I got suspended from school for buying acid.

Oh, hold on, hold on. This is the whole story.

Yeah, so it's really weird. It's like, I got in trouble at school. And then they made me do this outdoor stuff. And I liked it. And so I've always done quite a lot of Expedition hiking, and like long trails and this kind of thing quite a lot, mostly in the US. What I found out about myself on those trails was that I like hiking by myself, because no one else is relying on me if I get lost No shit on me for it. Or if I'm late leaving camp, or if I lose something, it's only me. And I've always found that things I do on my own. I'm more comfortable with I find as soon as I start doing things with other people, there's negotiation decisions, slow down, I get frustrated, blah, blah, blah. I'm just to just get on with it sort of person.

Kristin The Second Chapter 26:32

Yeah, I don't have patience when I've done. Of course, lots of things with groups of people. And it's ironic because I come from a really big family. And yet, I just when somebody is not ready to go, and I'm ready, it's Come on, It's time. It's time to go, I definitely understand that self reliance.

Jane Porter 26:49

Oh, this is actually one of the challenges I have right now is that I've worked out that I can only do the amount of work I have time to do, which means if I get another project offer, that means I have to turn it down, unless I expand, expanding my business means working with other people. And I don't know, I don't know about that. But I need to expand because I can't. Some people the business has been talking about I wanted to start this size and all that kind of thing. But I definitely want to grow. But it's a challenge for me finding a way to do that and starting some kind of studio. I don't know how I'm going to do that. That's something somewhere at the moment,

Kristin The Second Chapter 27:31

does it come from some level of perfectionism as well, if you're doing it, it's being done the way you want it done.

Jane Porter 27:36

I'm aware that like, quite often other people have got really great ideas that I should listen to. I have this weird form of, I don't know, if I'm a perfectionist, what I am, is, quite often someone who's a perfectionist will be quite myopic in what they are concentrating on. There'll be small pieces that are already perfectly done. My perfectionism is what does the overall look like? Is everything working together? I remember once I was waitressing in the place in Notting Hill, where I told that guy that we had this really strict Serbian manager called Nana, and she was really cool. And she just used to shit on me all the time, about how I used to do things. She said to me one day, look around. And I was like, Yeah, I've seen that's fine. She said those flowers in the bars in the middle, they're dead. Can't you see that? She said, You've got to see the whole picture. You've got to take it all in. And it's only had to be told that once and I was like, this is really important to think Hang on, how does this look overall? And I think obviously, that ties into aesthetically like how I do a garden. But it's also for me, I need everything to be working. I'm not myopic Lance the kind of way maybe that is a problem I've got with other people with working with other people. And so I don't know if I could give up one thing to I don't know, I'm making stuff up now. But it is definitely an issue.

Kristin The Second Chapter 29:05

Now that rings true. Yeah, it rings true with me as well. That's why I asked because I was like I can't decide if I'm actually a perfectionist. But there is something about having, I don't know some sort of control over the whole picture. Yeah, I really like your creative idea or where you took things over lockdown with the consultation. I realised

Jane Porter 29:23

I everyone was just really interested in gardens because they were at home the whole time and I realised how people really feel overwhelmed by it. And so I just did a few with some friends who wanted some help. And then it just seemed to be something that people really appreciated and really like gardens it can be really overwhelming like plants, particularly I think people think oh, I don't know about them, will they die will they waste their money. And so I just thought I can do it's a little bit like holding their hand or counselling for their garden or something. It's a bit of like support and I seen I really helps people it makes them feel like, well, it's okay, I can do that because she's told me how. And sometimes traipsing The internet is a bit. It's hard work doing all that research. So I just actually tell people what to do it. So

Kristin The Second Chapter 30:13

you go online with them for half an hour, 60 minutes, and then it's just do they do they literally have a zoom call with showing you their garden? Or is it okay?

Jane Porter 30:25

Yeah, totally. So beforehand, we, they tell me like what they want to get out of the consultation. And then I'll make sure that we address that during the call. So I'll tell them how to look after plants they've got, but they don't know what to do with. I'll talk to them about plants they can put in, I give them suggestions that will suit the conditions they've got. And we'll work together, I can tell them give them layout ideas, like quite often people will just be like, I never thought of putting that there. And it's because having a pair of fresh eyes on something is really good. And things with layout. So what about a few things like butterflies, you put your seats in there, but it's so funny, because some of the things I got met with when I said I was going to leave that council job was one person said, What do you think you're going to do like design or something? And I said, No, I don't think I'm going to go around telling people where to put their patios. And that is literally what I do. Because I never thought when I was changing, I didn't think I was changing my career. I remember saying to one person, I can't just go and be a gardener. Like how would I do that. And then that is what happened. And I feel is quite amazing with the consultations, because it's quite simple. But I think it really helps people is the support I think not. But just having an actual person, you can cut through everything and tell you exactly what you need to know. And also just listening to people and making sure you understand what they want. But it's absolutely lovely.

Kristin The Second Chapter 31:55

Okay, I know I have a million things that I want to ask you. But I want to make sure that I'm looking at my notes, because I'm like, What have I not said or asked, I didn't want to talk about your family relationships. But I feel like we've skipped over that. Because it's obviously from all of your photos and everything, you and your sister really close. And I know that your mom died really early. And I don't know if there's anything that is relevant or worth talking about when it comes to that.

Jane Porter 32:19

So do you mean to do with career change,

Kristin The Second Chapter 32:22

or just life in general? I really do feel like because when you said that about the life career thing, I thought I tried to advertise the podcast as who've made changes to their lives, and or careers. Okay, and what's really interesting is how your life led to who you are, and what made those changes possible or made those changes happen. And I think it's really clear from your story, but I didn't know if there was anything, your upbringing or your relationship with your family or

Jane Porter 32:52

definitely found it hard to separate thinking about careers, or past work and life story. Because things like having babies just really changed what I was doing. going off on maternity leave was one of the big things Oh, and by the way, I should say that to mitigate or help mitigate some of those paternity problems. at work I had I started this project, bring your baby, and is inspired by this amazing book that was written by these two artists called Andrea Franca, and Kim Dylan. And it's called the invisible spaces of parenthood. And it's all about the issue of childcare and working in the arts. And one of the things that they said in the book that struck me most was if somebody who like say, if you're an art student, I think it's quite hard to imagine how you would carry on with your career if you had children. And so this project, I did Anna and Kim initiated one in and white chocolate Gallery in London and those places do it. But it's basically doing gallery tours for people to they can bring their babies with them. And it raises visibility of parents and galleries. And it just means that if someone is like, oh, if I had a family, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be involved in art so much. And it would be really difficult for me if they see these families and galleries and they think No, that's how it would be for me. That's how I would, however do it. I found that when I had a baby, it was really hard for me to stay engaged with everything that's happening and cultural scene, like our openings were at the worst time of day. Also babies can't really sit in a serious talk that you might want to go to. So I just wanted to open up some of these events and shows for people to be able to bring their baby to so they could feel less alienated. And also so they could either try something new, like if they didn't do that before they had a baby or they could continue doing something that they are used to doing instead of having to take on this weird new identity of somebody who sing songs in a library, which I would rather stick pins in my eyes. I just couldn't cope with these activities. So I just I, it was like, I felt like it was like my contribution to those early, early access for it's for babies under one for the parents. And so I did that, and I can't remember what your question was,

in a way,

Kristin The Second Chapter 35:36

is there anything else you want?

I agree with you that I think I don't have kids. And I think one of the things is I had such a hard time reconciling what my life is, or was at certain points with having a small child. And part of that is going to a gallery or travel or at the more I see people doing things like that, whether it is that there's a programme that you can go to a gallery with the tiny baby, or cinemas that are putting on things where you can bring your kids and watch maybe a serious film, but it doesn't matter if they cry or laugh or want to get up and run around. Or my cousin is a great example of someone who packed up her baby the second she was born and continue travelling and hiking and camping and doing whatever around the world. So I do think the more people that do things like that and make it visible that i think i guess i What I'm saying is I think it's a really amazing feminist act, because it does change who we can be as women, and doesn't mean you have to choose, I can have a baby and therefore I have to stay at home and become a different person and go to the library and sing songs and stick pins.

Jane Porter 36:45

That's exactly I do see it as my feminist project because I it really affected when I went back to work, how estranged I felt from everything that was going on that everyone else was going to and seeing. And, and so it and I felt like I was seen as a comic for good word, latent worker, like I wasn't as engaged as everyone else. And so that's why I wanted to do it was to help women possibly a little bit out of that situation, it's very Nish. Women in the arts, I understand that. But for me, it was good. And everyone who came to the talks was super, super grateful because they weren't bored for an hour. They all really liked it. And I just felt like it was good contribution. But I have to say, the amazing thing about it for me was that I was working in the arts again, but on my terms I was for every talk. So I would research the exhibition, and put together an hour's talk for it and walk everyone around it. Now I haven't been able to actually research an artwork or an exhibition for years, because that's not what art administration is all about. So basically, I got to just 30 engage with art in a way that hadn't been able to for ages. share that with other people do this feminist act. And, and I was doing all on my own. And that's what I was going back to before I didn't have to. And that works really well. And it's good because it's cost neutral. I would get paid. But the gallery sell tickets, so it just worked. And yeah, and it doesn't take up a lot of my time I would normally do without COVID maybe one a month one every two months, something like that. And I also might start doing them around Botanic Gardens.

Kristin The Second Chapter 38:37

Oh yeah. I love it. So some of the things you told me before this and just being on your Instagram page has inspired me that I want to do like a new segment over the second chapter. Yeah, I think you'd have five things on your Instagram page, but we've already covered one of them anyway, but like the things we would never know about you.

Jane Porter 38:57

Okay, that I make really elaborate cakes.

Kristin The Second Chapter 39:00

Can we look at their their pictures of those if we dig through if you scroll through? I don't know if I saw cake pictures. possible. I completely stopped you.

Jane Porter 39:08

I can send them to you if you can't find them. But yeah, I love making very realistic

Oh wait,

Kristin The Second Chapter 39:17

I did see one. That's it. What was the one I saw? It was something really weird. And

Jane Porter 39:26

was it ambulance head rolling off the block?

Kristin The Second Chapter 39:28

Maybe it was? think I'd remember for sure.

Jane Porter 39:32


Kristin The Second Chapter 39:33

how have I not seen this? This is brilliant. How have you not become a people who like weird cakes? Yeah, how is that not here?

Jane Porter 39:43

I just do them my family and then really specifically for that person's interests. So I don't know. It's quite funny. So when did I get to cake? Normally I'd say something about the hiking thing.

Kristin The Second Chapter 39:55

I'm going from something that you sent me an email.

Jane Porter 39:58

Okay, okay, cool. Going out.

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