The Portage Ceramic Awards exhibition offers an annual update on the state of ceramic practices in New Zealand. Established in 2001, the awards are the country’s best-known showcase of current directions in the field, as well as future possibilities.
2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the Portage Ceramics Awards, which have become Aotearoa’s premier showcase for ceramic practice, organised annually by Te Uru. The challenges that arose from the COVID-19 lockdown in Aotearoa, particularly with regard to timing and budget constraints, meant that a competition was not possible.
A 20th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with the gift of pottery (technically porcelain, but who’s complaining, we’ve all got bigger fish to fry) and the Portage 20/20 exhibition was no exception. A special exhibition was planned to replace the traditional awards competition. Fondly known as ‘The Portage’, this year’s survey exhibition displayed all twenty winning works from previous years, spanning large scale installation to fine porcelain sculpture. Each year, the Portage Licensing Trust has purchased the premier award winner for their collection, and this was the first time all winning works had been publicly displayed together.
This year's event has been judged by renowned Australian potter and educator, Merran Esson. Esson has been working internationally for more than 40 years but this will be her first visit to Aotearoa. Te Uru was pleased to announce Northland-based potter, Mark Mitchell, as the Premier Award Winner of the 2019 Portage Ceramic Awards for his work, Slice. Esson also presented two Merit Awards to Dunedin-based artists Blue Black for Musical Chairs, and to Kylie Matheson for Yoke.
This year’s Portage Ceramic Awards is judged by American artist Bari Ziperstein. Ziperstein is at the forefront of a thriving ceramic scene in Los Angeles. As well as gallery-based exhibitions and site-specific public installations, Ziperstein also produces functional ceramics through her company, BZippy & Co. Te Uru is pleased to announce local Henderson duo Sang-Sool Shim and Keum-Sun Lee as the Premier Award Winners in the 2018 Portage Ceramic Awards, for their piece, In the Beautiful Dream.
For the first time in its now 17 year history, a New Zealander has been appointed to judge the Awards, Aotearoa’s best-known survey of contemporary ceramic activity. Whanganui-based curator and writer Emma Bugden has selected finalists and winners for this year.
The 2016 judge is Janet DeBoos, an influential ceramic artist and teacher. Based in Canberra, Janet brings a wealth of experience to the awards, including a keen understanding of the social power of pottery and the varying contexts of production.
The Portage Ceramic Awards will this year be judged by Ingrid Murphy, an Irish ceramic artist whose focus on new media is creating radical new ways to work with clay. Murphy’s practice is distinctive for its focus on digital technology and interactivity as a way to explore the potential of ceramics.
This year the Portage Ceramic Awards 2013 are housed at the iconic venue Silo Park, Auckland Waterfront. The 2013 judge, Amy Gogarty, has participated in numerous national and international academic panels and published over 100 reviews, catalogue and critical essays on issues arising in craft disciplines.
In year twelve of the Portage Ceramic Awards the exhibition is presented at The Cloud on Queen’s Wharf, Auckland Central. Dr. Paul Scott, the jurist for the Portage Ceramic Awards 2012, travelled to New Zealand from Cumbria in the UK to make the selection and to curate the exhibition. An artist, a ceramicist and a printmaker of very high repute Paul is perhaps best known for his research into ceramics and print.
This year the renowned master potter Len Castle passed away, whose extraordinary achievements remain an inspiration to all artists and potters across the country. The 2010 awards are judged by Janet Mansfield, potter and publisher of high repute and great experience. She has exhibited widely and is represented in most major public collections in Australia and internationally.
Lopdell House Gallery and The Trusts Charitable Foundation are pround to present the Portage Ceramic Awards 2010, now in its tenth year. This years judge Stephen Bowers is visiting from Adelaide, South Australia. Stephen is an award-winning ceramicist with works in many prestigious international institutions.
This, the ninth Portage Ceramic Awards, exhibits a wide range of creative ceramic works from around New Zealand. These works have been selected by the judge Scott Chamberlin, Professor of Ceramics at the University of Colorado. His selection this year emphasises the creative and playful side of the ceramic canon in the ongoing dialectic between fine art and craft art.
Lopdell House Gallery is pleased to announce that Grace Cochrane is this year’s judge for New Zealand’s leading ceramic awards for 2008. Born in New Zealand, she has a background in art and education, is now an independent curator and writer. From a strong field of 170 entries, Grace has selected 50 outstanding finalists.
The Portage Ceramic Awards returns for its 7th year. The John Green Waitakere Artist Award is also given for the first time, and is named in memory of the ceramicist, artist and musician John Green. The judge this year is Jeff Shapiro, a ceramicist of international renown who exhibits in his native New York, in Japan and internationally.
This year’s selection, made by Australian judge, Bill Samuels, features an exciting collection of 51 pots and sculptures from across the country. Bill Samuels has a long history and involvement both as a student, practitioner and teacher and has worked on the development of forms and glazes for about 30 years.
This year has seen an enormous increase of entrants from a wider geographical spread around the country. The 2005 judge, Robert Bell, selected 57 pieces from 241 entered works. The result is a vivacious show of wide variety.
This year the Portage Ceramic Awards2004have seen artists from a broad range of backgrounds and locations, and present a wide and disparate range of styles, techniques and compositions. This years judge, Patsy Hely, is a practicing artist and University lecturer based in Canberra, Australia.
The Portage Ceramic Awards 2003 judge, Australian ceramicist Julie Bartholomew, is a widely known and esteemed practitioner and academic, who aims to fuse ceramic tradition with new technologies, generating an ever evolving voice to ceramic practice.
This is the second year that the Portage Ceramic Awards have been staged, with the generous sponsorship of the Portage Charitable Foundation. The award has re-established ceramics as an integral part of New Zealand's contemporary arts platform and the exhibition of finalists celebrates the richness and diversity of contemporary ceramics around the country.
It is with a considerable sense of pleasure that Lopdell House Gallery, in association with the Portage Charitable Foundation, presents the inaugural Portage Ceramic Awards, an exhibition of award winners and finalists.The judge of the Portage Ceramic Awards 2001, is Mitsuo Shoji of Japan, now based in Australia.