After finishing his undergraduate degree in Visual Culture (at Monash) Liam Crowe wanted to keep following his passion for Art History, and this lead him to the Monash Master of Cultural Economy (now the Master of Cultural and Creative Industries). Liam graduated in 2015, and two weeks before submitting his thesis he landed his current job at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).
What drew you to the Master of Cultural Economy (now Master of Cultural and Creative Industries) ?
The best thing about the course is the overview it gives you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything about an individual aspect, but it gives you an overall picture where you can find your niche.
It just opened my eyes up to the possibilities within the arts, and cultural and creative industries.
Also an important part for me was that the course had a research component that was quite open, so you could direct it where you wanted to.
What are you passionate about in the cultural and creative industries?
My interest in that field started by walking into an art gallery and not knowing anything about it, but finding it interesting, and I think that’s the great thing that the cultural and creative industries can give people, it opens up the eyes and the imagination.
So my passion would be trying to open up that opportunity to as many people as possible.
What did you enjoy most about the Masters program?
An obvious highlight was the Shanghai City Lab, which was organised and run by Justin O’Connor and Xin Gu. That was just a great experience, somewhere totally different to anywhere I’d been, and I learned a lot.
I think the other highlight would be getting to work so closely with academics, particularly with Justin O’Connor. You really get great one-on-one time with Justin and with the other academics, from all over Australia and the world. It really helps you to engage when you’re not just reading about someone – you are talking to them.
How has your Masters influenced your career progression?
The role I’m in now is not something that requires a Masters, but having said that, I think the Masters played a big part in me getting the job because I came in with a great theoretical background due to the course.
I’m getting to see the overarching ideas and theories, and that’s really cementing them further, to see how they work and how they do affect workplaces. I guess it’s informing where I see myself going with this sort of work in the future.
What does your current job involve?
I’m an art handler and installation technician at the National Gallery of Victoria. It varies incredibly day-to-day, the actual work, but at it’s most basic, it is hanging and installing artwork: hanging pictures, installing sculptures, moving things to back-of-house, from conservation to photography – there’s all sorts of different projects going on.
You don’t feel like you’re doing the same thing for too long and just the actual contact with – and being around – incredible artworks is not something I think I’ll ever get tired of. It’s pretty special.
Do you have any advice for prospective students who are thinking of doing the Master of Cultural and Creative Industries?
I think my advice would be to make sure you know you want to do, it was a big commitment; and particularly the research part of it was very self-driven, although you do get great help from people like Justin.
It’s a great opportunity and it is a real achievement if you get to the end of it, because it does open up possibilities for you.