Portage Ceramic AWARDS 2019

Entries have now closed for the Portage Ceramic Awards 2019. Established in 2001 and administered by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, The Portage Ceramic Awards is Aotearoa's best-known barometer for developments in the field of ceramics.

All Portage 19 finalists will be exhibited at Te Uru in the Portage Ceramic Awards exhibition, which runs from 22 November 2019 - 23 February 2020. Winners will be announced at the Portage Ceramic Awards Night on Thursday 21 November, when the exhibition and publication are launched by 2019 judge, Merran Esson.

Terms and conditions


Entries close on 12 August 2019
Shortlisted entries notified 4 October 2019
Finalists announced 4 November 2019
Awards Night on 21 November 2019
Exhibition at Te Uru from 22 November 2019 – 23 February 2020


The judge for the Portage Ceramic Awards 2019 is well-known Australian ceramic artist Merran Esson. Esson has been working internationally for more than 40 years but this will be her first visit to Aotearoa. Her own work is distinctive for the textures and large forms that express the contrast between the extremes of country and city. She uses clay and glazes to reference water tanks, silos and corrugated iron, which remind us of the influence of history and place, and recall her rural childhood. 
Esson recently retired as the Head of Ceramics at The National Art School in Sydney, and is currently Lecturer-in-Charge of ceramics at the Australian Catholic University. She has spent much time teaching in Scotland, including Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. Esson has exhibited in The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Galerie Rosenhauer in Germany, Gaffer Gallery in Hong Kong, as well as exhibiting and visiting artist roles in Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, Pakistan, Spain and Japan. Esson will also give presentations in other centres in Aotearoa through a partnership between Te Uru and Ceramics NZ, the national body for professional and recreational potters. Read more

Merran Esson will also be giving a lecture series and Q&A at three venues across the country from 15-19 October. For bookings and more information, see the Merran Esson Lecture Series event page.


The Premier Portage Ceramic Award carries a prize of $15,000. Up to three Merit Awards totaling $3000 are also on offer, along with a People's Choice Award of $1000.

The overall winner and up to three Merit Award winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held at Te Uru in Titirangi on 21 November 2019.


The selection of works for the 2019 Portage Ceramic Awards is a two-stage process. Up to 60 works will be selected by the judge from submitted images.

Those shortlisted artists will be invited to send their works to Te Uru for the final selection where the judge will view and select the exhibition works and award winners.


No payment is necessary for Te Uru Members. For all other entrants, to complete the registration process, please make your payment through one of the following options:

Entry fee - 1 work | Entry fee - 2 works

If you have any issues completing an online payment, please call us on 09 817 8087 for assistance or to discuss other payment options.


For the latest updates and ongoing Portage news, keep an eye on this page via www.teuru.org.nz/portage or the Portage Ceramic Awards Facebook page. You can view previous Portage Ceramic Awards exhibitions and results in our archive section.

Image: Greg Barron, Altered Form, winner of the 2018 People's Choice Award

Enquiries: 09 817 8087 or portage@teuru.org.nz