Careers In Art: Chris Wood

Term: 3 Term Year: 2009

Textile Teacher

Chris Wood, Textile Teacher, St Ignatius College, Geelong

When you were little what did you want to become?
A Fashion Illustrator.

What did you study at school and university?
Year 11 & 12 Art at school. I completed the 4 year Bachelor of Education [Art & Craft] course at Melbourne State College. In the first 2 years we studied a range of art and craft subjects. In the final 2 years I majored in Fine Art, Painting, Textiles, Photography and Woodwork. Woodwork was my major area of study in my final year.

What attracted you to a career in teaching?
I worked in a bank for seven years and was totally bored with the work I was doing. Throughout that time I was always involved in the arts where I did night courses and part time studies. I decided to give up my day job and return to full time study and was so glad I did. I loved every minute of the 4 years at Melbourne State College. It opened my eyes to areas of the Arts I had never been exposed to. When I finished my course I could think of nothing better than spending every day making some kind of art work and sharing this experience with kids. Teaching allows me to do this.

Any career highlights?
A study tour to China in 1996.

What’s your favourite piece of art work?
I would love to own a Brett Whiteley painting.

What period in art history inspires you the most?
Ancient Egypt.

What book are you reading right now?
Postcards by Annie Proulx.

What do you do to unwind?
Watch movies, read and listen to music.

What is your favourite medium to work with?
Silk dyes and watercolour paint.

What are some of the negative aspects of your job?
Writing reports.

What is something you would love to do that you haven’t already done?
Go to Egypt.

Where do you get most of your inspiration?
From whatever is happening around me. At the moment I find the street art scene that is evolving and the artist run spaces that are nothing like traditional galleries are really exciting and inspirational.

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe?
A long black silk jacket from Vietnam.

Who would you most like to sit next to on a flight to Europe?
Yoko Ono.

If you were speaking to a secondary school student who was showing interest in following in your footsteps, what advice would you give them?
Go to as many open days at the various Uni’s & Colleges as you can and don’t leave it too late. Start looking around in Year 10/11. Choose a course that allows you to explore all forms of artistic expression. Follow your passion and stick to it.