An award winning Blue Mountains local who toured the world as a member of the Australian Ensemble and the Australian Chamber Orchestra has had a second chance to pursue a career in the creative industry after a serious injury stopped her from performing.
Catherine McCorkill had been a professional musician for the past 40 years when she was told she would never be able to play music again because of a serious hand injury, which caused a lack of co-ordination in her left hand.
Before her injury, Catherine regularly performed as a soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra and was a lecturer in clarinet at the WA Conservatorium and the Victorian College of the Arts.
Instead of letting her injury get the better of her, she pursued a new passion studying a Diploma of Visual Arts at TAFE NSW Nepean where she is developing practical skills in an industry that is expected to have 7,000 job openings over the next five years.
“I’m a very creative person and I think in images, colours and sounds so I’m glad I’ve found another career path where I can develop my creative skills and express myself without being constrained by an injury,” Catherine said.
“There was a period where my hand was to sore to do the simplest of tasks so completing the TAFE NSW course at my own pace has actually helped my injury and given me the confidence to continue a career in art.”
“When I’m making art in my classes, I still feel like I’m playing music,” she said.
Catherine said the quality of teaching at TAFE NSW and the support she received from her teachers was one of the highlights of her course. She will graduate at the end of 2019 and artwork will continue to be displayed to the community at Hare Street Gallery in Glenbrook, and at the Huntington Music festival in Mudgee, where she previously performed as a musician.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Visual Arts, Cath Barcan, said the course offered students the opportunity to broaden their skill set.
“Catherine is a great example of how TAFE NSW helps career changers or those looking to develop their practical skills in a visual arts course that is designed to be hands on,’” she said.
“It’s also a way for career starters to develop industry connections because our TAFE NSW teachers also work in the field.”
To enquire or enrol in the Art and Design courses offered at TAFE NSW, visit the TAFE NSW website or call 131 601.