Tatachilla’s resident artist

Meet Ms Skye McVicar, Tatachilla’s Visual Arts Teacher.

What made you choose teaching as a career and how long have you been teaching?

When my kids started kindy I realised that going back to work in theatre full time wasn’t really going to be possible in Adelaide as there wasn’t enough work and I didn’t have the contacts that I had in Sydney. Therefore, I wanted to look at a career where I could still talk about art every day and interact with others who are interested in this area. I have been teaching for four years.

What is the best part of being a teacher?

When I see my students doing well in their own work and they accomplish more than they thought they could. I love celebrating their work by displaying it somewhere around the College. I also love it when a student takes me by surprise and asks something or makes a comment that I hadn’t even thought about myself. It makes the lesson and learning fun and spontaneous.

Describe your most memorable teaching moment.

When a Year 12 student from last year gave me a card at the end of the year saying that Art class was always a happy place for her – a place where she felt like she was allowed to be herself and was encouraged. I didn’t even realise that this student was particularly keen on the subject, my teaching style or my lessons as she didn’t talk about her personal feelings during the time she was in my class. So teaching has a unique and powerful impact for the student and teacher when both are engaged on achieving excellence. It brought a tear to my eyes when I read it and at the time I thought what I am doing for the passionate students in my classes is more important and valuable in the long run than if I had a successful exhibition of my own.

What do you enjoy doing beyond work?

Painting, painting, painting! Also, I love walking in nature and being around the greenness of the natural world and reading spiritual books.

Tell us about the Archibald Prize Competition and the inspiration behind the piece that you entered?

The Archibald Prize is the most famous portrait competition in Australia, where artists must paint a portrait of someone in Australia, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics. My painting is a portrait of Peter Combe; the Australian children’s entertainer and musician who has been working as a singer/song writer since the 1980s. In the painting Peter Combe is portrayed as “The Fool”, playing to the royalty of the court, who are in fact children. This painting is commenting on the fact that Peter plays the fool when he performs, however he has had a huge impact on the joy and laughter experienced by children all over Australia, positively influencing generations.

What is a passion, skill or interest that people would not know about you?

I did circus training for a while and specialised in trapeze and stilt walking!

To view Skye’s online portfolio visit www.skyemcvicar.com


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