Daina Sgarioto in Conversation

Emerging artist Daina Sgarioto works across hand tufting and ceramics to create vibrant satirical works. Celebrating the mundane with humour and laughing at the comedy often embedded in painful experiences, Sgarioto's work speaks to the silliness of life and reminds us not to take it all too seriously. We chatted to Daina about her practice alongside her Vitrine exhibition Nuanced Nonsense.

Humor and satire are central to your work – who/what has inspired this approach, and do you have any recommendations for what to watch over the holidays?

I find comedy embedded in my day to day life – I am often writing down funny phrases I hear from my loved ones in my notes app and then transferring it into a little notebook. Getting inspiration from the people around me and the clever expressions they say on a whim is what makes my ears prick up. Similarly, if I’m watching a show and I hear something funny, I’ll write it down. I’ve taken inspiration many times whilst watching shows like Broad City and Peep show.

You have recently moved from Melbourne to picturesque Beechworth. How is this change in landscape manifesting in your work?

Since moving to Beechworth my life has slowed down a lot. I am scribbling and drawing more, and have acquired a larger space to use for my studio. The slower pace also allows me not to feel rushed or stressed about working all the time – I used to feel guilty if I thought I hadn’t done enough within the hours of the day. Now I just run on my own schedule, you can only do so much! Moving has been a very healthy change for me and my relationship with my practice.


Since graduating from your BFA at RMIT, you have started working with tufting alongside your ceramic practice. Can you speak to the relationship between the two mediums in your practice?

In my final year at RMIT I was doodling lots of random little characters that then translated into my sculptural work. When I was using clay, I would focus on small characteristics to enhance the sense of personality and individuality among each piece. Since I’ve started tufting, I've found it allows me to weave more of my storytelling, humour and musings into my work – which I absolutely love.

What’s in the pipeline for 2023?

I have plenty more rugs in the pipeline, including quite a few designs that I’m itching to get onto the frame and put into yarn. I’m also exploring more opportunities to exhibit my work. It's very exciting!

Nuanced Nonsense is on show in the Vitrine Gallery from December 13, 2022 — January 28, 2023.

Interview by Anni Hagberg.
Photography by Henry Trumble.