Open Studio #8 Connie Augoustinos
Connie Augoustinos is an Adelaide based ceramic artist who completed JamFactory’s Associate Training program in 2017. Since then, her work has been acquired by the Art Gallery of South Australia and has become a favourite among stylists and collectors. With a strong Greek heritage and inspirations far and wide, it’s Connie’s self-assured nature that brings a familiar tone to her hand-built vessels and objects. The JamFactory studio that she shares with fellow ceramic artist and JamFactory Alumnus, Kerryn Levy, is described by the pair as their ‘sanctuary’. A large sky light filters afternoon sun over collections of shells, books, artworks from fellow makers and found objects that line the shelves, these pieces sitting right at home alongside her otherworldly ceramic works.
Photos: Vanessa Heath
Can you tell us a little about your background?
I was born and raised in Adelaide. After high school I took some time off study to travel and work. This time was really important for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to focus my time and energy on. In my early 20s I started studying a Visual Arts degree at the University of SA specialising in Ceramics and went on to complete the JamFactory Associate program in 2017. I now run my practice from the independent tenant Studio #8 at Jam.
Tell us about your studio...
Its our happy place! There is usually always music on and snacks around... We work separately focussing on our own practices but our studio is quite open with communal work areas and a comfy couch to take a break on! Kerryn and myself shared a table during our time as Associates, where our friendship began, so we knew we worked well together, so having the most practical (and beautiful!) space was a no brainer.
“I love that clay has endless possibilities, its tactility, and its ability to embody ones self.”
What or who are some of your influences?
My influences are really quite broad. The ideas that drive my creativity are; the act of making, femininity and my greek heritage - my practice gives me the space to explore and make sense of history and my cultural identity. In terms of my aesthetic I really look within and draw from my childhood as well as things that spark and ignite emotion in me today: things and people with an otherworldly presence, myths and fairytales, music, fashion.. all things art. My work is a constant search for finding balance in the physical and metaphorical: old/new, gloss/dull, natural/synthetic, soft/firm, real/unreal .. to name a few. These things can be happening simultaneously or they can be isolated within my works.. there are no rules really, everything is very intuitive.
How do you stay inspired?
I try to make sure I have a good life/work balance which “usually helps with keeping me sane and fresh. I love being in nature, reading, sketching, visiting art galleries and museums, and travelling, as well as breaking the repetitiveness in my making cycle by making time for play within my practice through experimentation with texture, form and glaze testing.
“I love the meditative state that making with clay gives you and the supportive ceramics community that comes with it.”
Where/how do you like to spend your time outside of your studio?
I have to move my body in order to get out of my head! I do this with a mixture of going to the gym, yoga, dancing. Getting to the beach whenever I can, cooking, spending time with loved ones and a good Netflix show for when I need to switch off!
What do you enjoy most about your medium?
I love that clay has endless possibilities, its tactility, and Its ability to embody ones self. I love the meditative state that making with clay gives you and the supportive ceramics community that comes with it💕
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently working on works for two upcoming group exhibitions, MANIFEST in Hobart (1 - 4 May) and an exhibition at Skepsi Gallery in Melbourne (15 - 30 June), as well as my first solo show at JamFactory (26 July - 22 September).