Lauren Congram is a participant in the 2018 Creative Arts and Design Professional Practicum from the Griffith University. Lauren is studying a Bachelor of Fine Art. Lauren received a $3,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant to support her participation in this program.
Q: Why did you decide to undertake the ACICIS program?
As a mature age student coming back to university for the second time, I wanted to take advantage of any and all opportunities that came my way. The ACICIS program provided a well-considered, structured program in a country that I hadn’t ever visited before. The opportunity to work alongside an established artist/creative was too good to pass up, and as a recipient of a New Colombo Plan mobility grant, it was an adventure that was within my means.
Q: How will the Professional Practicum benefit or influence your future career?
This practicum has provided me with a lot of opportunity for personal reflection, and I have been able to make decisions about the type of discipline I will confirm as my major within my studies (Bachelor of Fine Art). This opportunity has opened my eyes to many amazing forms of art, practicum and residencies available to artists and I would hope, in the future, to take advantage of these different forms of experience.
Q: What organisation will you be interning with? (Explain your roles and responsibilities)
I am interning with Pori Keramik, a ceramic studio based in Bandung that designs and produces custom ceramic pieces for restaurants and cafes. I was here to learn, and my mentor gave me complete freedom to develop a project of my own using his materials and studio space. I researched, designed and made a collection of 12 ceramic pots carved with Indonesian motif (the national flowers, bird and animal) and ubiquitous images of Indonesia (wooden boats, bird cages). As I write this, I am waiting for them to be fired in the kiln for the final time to see how my glazing work turns out!
Q: How have you found the work culture of your host organisation? How is it different to work experience in Australia?
As this is a family business, one very big difference from Australia is the care taken of their employees. Each day, lunch is cooked by my mentor’s mother, and I haven’t had the same thing twice in almost four weeks. I haven’t experienced that in any other workplace around the world!
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time in Indonesia?
I have visited many art galleries and spaces, and have enjoyed trying new food!
Q: Would you like to return to work in Indonesia again in future?
Potentially, I wouldn’t dismiss the opportunity out right if it came up. I would definitely consider any opportunities.
Q: Favourite Indonesian food?
I really enjoyed the sate ayam! I also spent time in Bandung and the Sop Buntut Bakar was my favourite dish here.
Q: Favourite Indonesian word/phrase?
Mahasiswa has to be a favourite!
Q: Favourite place to eat?
There was a cart on Jl. Pederanan in Jakarta near my residence and I would have eaten sate ayam from his food cart for every meal if possible. Most delicious sate ayam in Indonesia!
Q: What places in Indonesia have you visited during your practicum so far?
Jakarta and Bandung.