For the Wild Ones, ‘floral arrangement’ at a flat
Featuring new seasonal work by: a flat finds, articles of clothing, actually existing, Christopher Arblaster, filter store, mineral tufts, Molly Younger, noruyelo
Vessels by: Connie Augostinos, Gerry Wedd, Hannah Vorrath-Pajak, Lirsten Perry, Matthew Bradley, mineral tufts, Samone Turnbull, s.h.o.k.k.i
Spring and Summer at a flat celebrates the change of season and the beginning of longer days with new collections of clothing and wares at a flat shop. A nine week rotation exhibitons of vessels paired with flora titled ‘floral arrangements’.
When the Sun’s light strikes the moon series
Connie Augoustinos: Keramos, JamFactory.
The word keramos (of which the word ‘ceramic’ was derived, literally meaning ‘burned earth’) was chosen as the title of ceramic artist Connie Augoustinos’s first solo exhibition, not only for its classical Greek etymology but also for its allusions to the origins of ceramic practices. Connie’s clay vessels draw on sculptural traditions of earlier cultures. She references antiquities in her forms while referencing Greek mythologyin her subject matter, as in: Ode to Chloris’ Elysium, 2019 and Aphrodite’s cleanse, 2019. The coiling and pinching methods she predominantly applies to her hand-built forms is a rudimentary process, used to shape clay objects for thousands of years. Her intuitive finger imprints give her surfaces a raw, textural quality reminiscent of Neolithic artefacts.
Raised within a Greek migrant family in Adelaide, she fondly remembers time spent with her grandmothers – both makers in the more traditional female sense – one, a great cook, the other a skilled seamstress. In 2018, Connie undertook a residency on the Greek Island of Skopelos. She was captivated by the contrast of light and colour of this unique island that is reflected in the shimmering incandescence imbued in the surfaces of her clay objects. Exploring her ancestral homeland was a pivotal experience for Connie, giving her an endless source of inspiration as well as a sense of belonging. Her clay vessels and forms in Keramos are translations of these experiences. Connie describes her practice as ‘weaving together the past and the present,’ her works stand as figures that bridge the gap between the ancient and the contemporary.
Working in a range of clay-bodies – red, dark, buff and white stoneware, Connie often applies a calcium matte glaze to her vessels, a traditional recipe made in varying shades of seashell pinks and ivories. They are the colours collected along the Aegean shoreline and closer to home on the coast of South Australia. They are also hues that reference the human body, particularly the blushed, fleshy realities of the female nude. The creased, dimpled brightness of her vessels are reminiscent of historical depictions of Venus – both erotic and divine.
Her recent applications of mother of pearl lustre lie somewhere between oceanic treasure and the nostalgia of ornamental kitsch. Connie’s forms embody both high and low art forms. They are primitive, yet contemporary, subtle yet complex.
She describes her work as:
…a constant search for finding balance in the physical and metaphorical: old/ new, gloss/ dull, natural/ synthetic, soft/ firm, real/ unreal.
Connie creates objects with untold cultural and ritual importance. In the large wall piece Stella’s phiale, 2019, she considers the form and function of an Ancient Greek phiale or ‘libation bowl’. Used in many religions of antiquity and in current cultures, this vessel offers liquid or grains such as riceto a god or spirit, or in memory of those who have died. Stella is the name of Connie’s late grandmother (her yia-yia). The phiale is a commemoration of her passing.
A diversity of influences provides the impetus to drive Connie’s creativity – childhood memories, nature, landscape and music – her studio wall currently includes photographs of ancient artefacts, flowers by Irving Penn, a shell grotto and a shimmering sunset reflected on the surface of the ocean. This, alongside a cover image of the 1965 Ladybird Book ‘Seashells and Seashell Life’. There is a large degree of personal, emotional involvement in Connie’s works. Working in clay, the substance of the earth and the processes which shape it are another important reference point for Connie. Her finger prints stamp and commemorate each piece as uniquely her own. The slowness of hand-building her forms invokes long periods of concentration, arousing a meditative state in the artist. In her own words:
I want to evoke a sense of ‘otherworldliness’ and curiosity in my vessels. Investigating qualities of scale, form and surface are an integral part of my creative process. Larger one-off pieces give me the freedom to create uninhibitedly, whilst smaller series of multiples are great rhythmic exercises.
Words by Rebecca Freezer.
Untitled grouping, Intruiging Charm, Skepsi Gallery.
Exhibiting artists: Tania Rollond, Susan Robey, Tim Clarkson, John Daly, Jack Balfour, Susan Frost, Vanessa Lucas, Connie Augoustinos, Ulrica Trulsson.
untitled groupings, Manifest.
Exhibiting artists: Connie Augoustinos, Julie Bartholomew, Alison Milyika Carroll, Kris Coad, Greg Daly, Andrei Davidoff, Honor Freeman, Ebony Heidenreich, Neil Hoffmann, Nicolette Johnson, Annemieke Mulders, Serena Rosevear, Susan Simonini, Zoe Slee, Jimmy Kenny Thaiday, Dawn Vachon, Steve Williams, Alana Wilson and NOT.
MANIFEST, The Australian Ceramics Association Members Exhibition, presents a diverse collection of work representing the art, craft and design of contemporary Australian ceramics. Gathered from the Torres Strait to Tasmania, from the remote communities of the Central Desert to the major capital cities and made by artists at various stages in their careers, MANIFEST brings together a selection of the best of contemporary Australian ceramics.
Collaboration with Rebecca Trevit of Ponder Posy.