Judging the Portage Ceramics Awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 21 July 2017

Emma Bugden photo
Portage Ceramic Awards 2017 judge Emma Bugden

New Zealand curator announced to judge 2017 national pottery awards

For the first time in its now 17 year history, a New Zealander has been appointed to judge the Portage Ceramic Awards, Aotearoa’s best-known survey of contemporary ceramic activity. Whanganui-based curator and writer, Emma Bugden, will select finalists and winners for this prestigious event, organised and hosted each year by Te Uru in Titirangi with support from The Trusts Commumnity Foundation.

Bugden was previously Senior Curator at The Dowse Art Museum, where she curated many ceramics exhibitions including Slip Cast, A Modest Modernism: Roy Cowan & Juliet Peter, Holding Holes: Lauren Winstone and the nationally touring exhibition, His Own Steam: A Barry Brickell Survey, co-curated with David Craig with an accompanying book from AUP.

Her initial training was in ceramics through the Craft Design Diploma at Northland Polytechnic where she studied until transferring to a fine art degree, giving her a distinctive perspective across the art and craft sectors.

Currently, as co-founder and editor of Small Bore Books, Bugden is working on A Partial Archive of New Zealand Potter (1958 – 1967), an anthology of the early years of New Zealand Potter magazine.

“I’m excited by the recent upsurge of interest in ceramics, nationally and internationally,” says Bugden. “Over the last few years we’ve seen new work in clay by established potters and by artists developing a ceramics language in a visual arts context. I think each has rejuvenated the other.”

“The Portage Ceramic Awards are at the heart of it, so I’m delighted and honoured to be this year’s judge. The stellar line up of former winners bears testament to its importance as a definer of excellence and a launching pad for the future.”

Established in 2001, the Portage Ceramic Awards is a hallmark event for the New Zealand ceramics community, showcasing some of the best work currently being made, and serving as a platform for dialogue about developments in the ceramics field. Whether emerging or senior, artists have the opportunity to receive the premier award of $15,000, merit awards, or a residency at the prestigious Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark, all selected by this year’s judge.

“The awards exhibition is shaped by the views of each years’ judge,” says Te Uru Director, Andrew Clifford, recalling the variety of highly respected international experts that have overseen the previous 16 events. “The unique perspective that each judge has brought to the country has helped to keep the event fresh and keep us all on our toes. But this year we wanted to try something different and see how it would work with somebody who has a closer understanding of local contexts in Aotearoa, but will still be able to offer fresh insights. We are certain that Bugden will make a fascinating and rigorous contribution to the event.”

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Entries are now open for New Zealand’s premier ceramic event – The Portage Ceramic Awards – which this year will be judged by Emma Bugden.

Artists can submit digital images of their work to the awards at: http://www.teuru.org.nz/portage. Entries close on 7 August.

The selection of finalist works for the 2017 Portage Ceramic Awards is a two-stage process. Approximately sixty works will be selected by the judge from submitted photographs. Shortlisted artists will be invited to send their works to Te Uru for final selection, where the judge will view and choose the exhibiting works and award winners.

The Awards’ finalists will be announced on 28 October.

This year’s prize selection includes a residency to participate in a workshop programme
at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center. Guldagergaard provides state-of-the-art facilities, and encourages dialogue and the exchange of knowledge, ideas and research about materials and techniques.

“The opportunity for this sort of international experience is invaluable to practitioners at any level”, says Clifford. “As New Zealand’s leading national ceramic event, it’s important that the Portage Ceramic Awards can help build international profile and networks for the New Zealand ceramics community.”

The premier award winner, Guldagergaard residency winner, and up to three merit award winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi, West Auckland on Thursday 9 November.

The finalist works will be exhibited at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery from 10 November 2017 – 11 February 2018.

Full entry details and criteria can be found at http://www.teuru.org.nz/portage
For an interview with Emma Bugden, or for further information please contact:

(09) 818 8087 info@teuru.org.nz http://www.teuru.org.nz

[ENDS]

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

About Emma Bugden:

Emma Bugden is a curator and writer based in New Zealand. She is Co-founder and Editor of Small Bore Books, a specialist art and design publisher dedicated to connecting historic texts with new audiences. http://www.smallborebooks.com. Bugden has held curatorial roles in New Zealand including Senior Curator at The Dowse Art Museum, Director of ARTSPACE and Curatorial Director at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts.

She has a distinctive perspective on both contemporary art and craft, having started out training in ceramics through the Craft Design Diploma at Northland Polytechnic before transferring to art school. While at The Dowse Art Museum, she curated many ceramics exhibitions including Slip Cast, A Modest Modernism: Roy Cowan & Juliet Peter, Holding Holes: Lauren Winstone and the nationally touring exhibition, His Own Steam: A Barry Brickell Survey, co-curated with David Craig with an accompanying book from AUP.

At Small Bore Books, she is currently working on A Partial Archive of New Zealand Potter (1958 – 1967), an anthology of the early years of New Zealand Potter magazine. She has also written for numerous art publications and catalogues, including artist monographs on Suji Park, Michel Tuffery, Saskia Leek and Sean Kerr. Bugden was a Juror for the 2016 Walters Prize at Auckland Art Gallery, and is Judge for the upcoming 2017 Rotorua Museum Art Awards.

About the Portage Ceramic Awards:

Established in 2001, the annual Portage Ceramic Awards is New Zealand’s premier showcase for ceramic arts. Administered by Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery with support from The Trusts Community Foundation, the awards are the country’s best-known barometer for developments in the field of ceramics.

The premier Portage Ceramic Award carries a prize of $15,000. Up to three merit awards totaling $3000 are also on offer. This year’s prize selection includes a residency at Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Centre in Denmark. The overall winners will be announced at a ceremony to be held at Te Uru on 9 November 2017.

About Te Uru:

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, based in scenic Titirangi, is West Auckland’s regional art gallery. After two years of redevelopment, Te Uru opened in November 2014 in a purpose-built building as part of the Lopdell Precinct. Te Uru receives core funding from the Waitakere Ranges Local Board of Auckland Council.

 

 

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