Portage Ceramic AWARDS 2019

Established in 2001 and administered by Te Uru, the Portage Ceramic Awards is Aotearoa's best-known barometer for developments in the field of ceramics.

Te Uru is 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. A further two Honourable Mentions were awarded to Aaron Scythe for, Pairing, and to last year’s Premier Award winners, Sang-Sool Shim and Keum-Sun Lee for their work, Where the Wind is Born.

All Portage 19 finalists are exhibited at Te Uru in the Portage Ceramic Awards exhibition, which runs from 22 November 2019 - 23 February 2020.


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
Judge's tour Saturday 23 November, 11am


Congratulations to all Portage 19 finalists: Stephen Aitken, Karin Amdal, Greg Barron, Blue Black, Maria Brockhill, Jane Burn, Madeleine Child, Lisa Donaldson, Karuna Douglas, Lis Downey, Nicola Everett, Liz Fea, Kate Fitzharris, Yasmin Franzmayr-Davis, Steve Fullmer, Renate Galetzka, Mandy Gargiulo, Mark Goody, Bridie Henderson, Anne Hudson, Jinho Jeong, Chuck Joseph, Louis Kittleson, Nicole Kolig, Temmina Kuijpers, Helen Lenihan, Jane McCulla, Matt McLean, Melissa McMahon, Kylie Matheson, EM Mertens, Michael Michaels, Mark Mitchell, Gaeleen Morley, Rachael Murphy, John Parker, Aiden Rail, Robin Ranga, Louise Rive, Robin Rive, Rick Rudd, Aaron Scythe, Sang-Sool Shim & Keum-Sun Lee, Emily Siddell, Annie Smits Sandano, Katherine Smyth, Anthea Stayt, Christine Thacker, Cat Thompson, Janna van Hasselt, Jenny Wilson, Delia Woodham, Helen Yau.


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. Merran will also be presenting the annual Judge's Tour of the exhibition on Saturday 23 November at 11am.


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.

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

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