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Prime Minister announces inaugural Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award

House of Dee - Oliver Morse
Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern announces Oliver Morse as the first ever winner of $10,000 Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award


Inaugural winner of $10,000 Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern


Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage has announced the inaugural winner of the Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award via video message.


The $10,000 Award, presented by the Rick Rudd Foundation for the first time in 2018, has been established to encourage, foster and promote emerging practitioners of studio ceramics. The Prime Minister’s message announced that the first ever winner is Wellington artist Oliver Morse, with his work ‘House of Dee’.


The Award was judged by Tom Seaman, Paul Rayner and Rick Rudd, Trustees of the Rick Rudd Foundation. Judges commented “This enigmatic award-winning work could only have been made in the 21st century. In the genre which gained international publicity when Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003, the work of this practitioner is autobiographical.”


“The loosely made object is simply canvas... the drawing is confident, lively and sketchy, in keeping with the vessel itself.”


“Oliver brings his experience of painting and the theatre to his ceramics. He is someone who has been working with clay for less than two years and yet demonstrates the potential to become a force in the medium in the future. This epitomises the reason for the Award being established”


In particular, the Award focusses on early career artists, and highlights the value of ceramic practice to the local, national and international community. The Award received 65 entries from as far afield as Whangarei and Dunedin, and 37 of them were selected for an exhibition at Quartz, Museum of Studio Ceramics, in Whanganui. Entries received ranged in styles, aesthetics and other aspects of working with clay from the humble to the extroverted.


Judges commented that they aimed to present new talent, and give the recipient a financial boost towards their career in ceramics


The exhibition will be on show at Quartz, Museum of Studio Ceramics, Whanganui, for 6 months from 24 September, 2018.


The video announcement by the Prime Minister can be found at:



The Rick Rudd Foundation:


The Rick Rudd Foundation was established in 2013 as a charitable trust.  In 2014 the building at 8 Bates Street was purchased by Rick Rudd and it, and his collection of studio ceramics was gifted to the Foundation.

The aim of the Foundation is to provide a public amenity by the ownership, development, curation and public exhibition of the Rick Rudd Collection.  With access to the Rick Rudd Library and Archive it allows for education of potters and the public.

Rick Rudd began his life-long passion for clay in September 1968 at Great Yarmouth College of Art, and to celebrate this obsession of 50 years, the Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award has been offered through the Foundation to foster and encourage new talent.  It is hoped this will be a triennial event.



Quartz, Museum of Studio Ceramics:


The Museum was opened in November 2015 to house the Rick Rudd Collection of studio ceramics. 

Curated, themed exhibitions borrowed from private collections are also shown and a ceramic installation is commissioned from an invited clay practitioner each year. 

Permanent exhibitions include a New Zealand historical collection of studio ceramics, an international collection, an historical collection of ceramics made in Whanganui and survey collections of John Parker, Anneke Borren and Rick Rudd.


Image credit:

‘House of Dee’ – Oliver Morse. Photograph courtesy of Richard Wotton.


For more information please contact:


Rick Rudd

Phone: 06 348 5555


Visit: Quartz, Museum of Studio Ceramics, 8 Bates St, Whanganui

Contact details: 
Rick Rudd - 06 348 5555 or

Written by

Riah King-Wall

24 Sep 2018