Sculptor of Art and Young Minds
Artist Ainsley Hood was born into a family of creatives. With both her parents working in interior design, there was no shortage of artistic inspiration around during her childhood. Hours spent tagging along to factories and fit outs sparked an early interest in Architecture, that later blossomed into the more hands on field of sculpture. In Hoods family a career in the Arts sector was therefore not only encouraged, it was applauded.
“…both my parents worked in the creative industry when I was a child… a future in the creative industry was such a celebrated part of my upbringing that I was able to be inspired by them and it was celebrated…”Ainsley Hood, 2020
After graduating from Christchurch’s Villa Maria College, Hood went on to begin her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Canterbury, with a focus on sculpture. She then went on to study at teacher’s college and now works full time as an Art teacher at Cathedral College in Christchurch.
“I did not go to Art school thinking I would go into teaching, but I needed money to fund my art career, most famous artists in NZ have been art teachers so I figured why not. It has also completely inspired my own art practice”.Ainsley Hood, 2020
While teaching was never her intended career path, doing her bachelor’s in art enabled her take on the position which currently provides her with financial stability, so often hard to find as a full time Artist.
“You quite often need to create a job for yourself. I am very grateful to be an art teacher. It is very fulfilling. People often think I have failed as an artist, but my teaching and art practices work together”.Ainsley Hood, 2020
Hood credits her time at art school for teaching her the realities of what a career as an artist really looks like.
“Learning how to write and use academic language, how to write proposals and make connections with people in the art industry… opened my eyes in terms of what is out there and what contemporary art practice was like”.Ainsley Hood, 2020
Despite her busy teaching schedule, Hood still dedicates time to work on her own art, including a piece for her old High School, titled Mercy [above] Installed as part of Villa Maria Colleges centennial celebrations in 2018, Mercy symbolises the journey of a Villa girl becoming a Mercy Woman.
“From the figure of the Madonna emerges a young woman, ready to selflessly serve others having been nurtured at Villa Maria College”
A representation of Hoods own journey perhaps, emerging nurtured from art school and ready to nourish the young minds of her own art students.
 (Hood, Ainsley. Mercy, 2018, Villa Maria College)
 (Catholic Cathedral College Newsletter, 16 February 2018)