Portage 21 Exhibition
Te Uru is delighted to present the 21st Portage Ceramic Awards 2021. This annual award provides a vital platform to showcase the diversity of contemporary ceramic practice in Aotearoa. Alongside the awards each year works from the finalists and winner are exhibited so art lovers from West Auckland and beyond can head to Te Uru in Titirangi for a chance to see the works in person.
The 2021 finalists embrace a wide range of media, including clay, stoneware, and terracotta, with a range of glazes, stains and firing techniques, as well works that incorporate photography, videography, and mixed media elements, from shells to stones to electronics.
The Portage Ceramic Awards are an annual showcase of contemporary ceramics in Aotearoa. After last year’s 20-year retrospective, which brought together the winning works from 2001 to 2019, this year marks the return of the open-call competition and includes new work made throughout 2020 and 2021. The awards are open to all New Zealand artists both established and emerging whose work spans sculptural and domestic clay traditions as well as other disciplines, including photography and videography.
The judge of this year’s entries was Wellington-based ceramicist and two-time Portage Premier Award winner, Raewyn Atkinson, whose own practice explores the material qualities of porcelain and its expressive potential at the threshold of the natural and cultural, a threshold which, in the context of the Anthropocene and the environmental crises this term entails, has become increasingly porous.
Atkinson has brought this sensibility to her role as judge, selecting those works which reflect on what it is to be a maker amid the many encroachments and confoundments of the Anthropocene and a global pandemic, looking for works which demonstrate a fresh and poetic approach to these circumstances.
Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists: Greg Barron, Blue Black, Phil Brooks, Oliver Cain, Madeleine Child, Andrea du Chatenier, Liz Fea, Mel Ford, Emelia French, Mark Goody, Fiona Jack, Jino Jeong, Chuck Joseph, Keum-Sun Lee & Sang-Sool Shim, Matt McLean, Teresa Peters, Louise Rive, John Roy, Rick Rudd, Takaaki Sakaguchi, Aaron Scythe, Liz Sharek, Duncan Shearer, Rebecca Steedman, Marie Strauss and David Milne, Toby Twiss, Janna van Hasselt, Alex Wilkinson and Ben Wilson.