Anna's love of art leads towards a teaching career 

After an initial career in hospitality Anna Constantini decided her real passion lay with the visual arts

After an initial career in hospitality Anna Constantini decided her real passion lay with the visual arts.

So when she came to Darwin from NSW at the age of 18 she decided the time was right to throw off the chef’s apron and take on the role of visual artist by enrolling in Charles Darwin University’s Bachelor of Visual Arts.

‘From my earliest days at school art was always my favourite subject,’ Constantini recalls. ‘In my final years of school at Kinross Woloroi in Orange, I had my own studio space in the school and would get there early in the morning and stay until late at night.’

But this schooldays love of art was to be sidelined for a time as she considered the possibility of a more secure financial future by training as an apprentice chef.

Twelve months after beginning her work in the hospitality industry Constantini came to the conclusion that she disliked the unsocial hours and the lifestyle of a chef.

‘When I came to Darwin with my partner I decided that my real passion was the visual arts,’ she says.

After enrolling in the bachelor course she moved into student accommodation on campus and threw herself into the life of the student artist, spending most of her time in the studio with her like-minded colleagues.

The highlight of her final year this year was exhibiting her work at the 24 Hour Art gallery in Parap, the multi-media contemporary arts space that shows work of a more radical, adventurous nature.

Constantini says her favourite style of art – at least at this stage of her development – is in stencil art, whose imagery is influenced to a large extent by street art.

For her graduation exhibition last month, for example, she created a wall of cut-out stencils depicting the now too familiar images of global terrorism.

‘I wanted to comment on the way these images became like flashcards of global terrorism,’ she says. ‘The fact is that we see them so often we eventually stop thinking about what actually lies behind them in terms of death and destruction and the responsibilities of those that have to fight the war on terror,’ she says.

While many visual arts graduates face an uncertain future as practicing artists, Constantini says she would like to make her financial future more secure by becoming an art teacher.

She has decided to enrol in a Diploma in Education, which will qualify her to teach in primary and secondary schools. ‘Whatever happens, I would like to be able to teach in Territory schools, and at the same time I want to continue my own art practice,’ she says.

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Download the visual arts postcard (.pdf).