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Aotearoa’s Top Potter Picked In The 2021 Portage Ceramic Awards

Te Uru is delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 Portage Ceramic Awards with Teresa Peters being named as the Premier Award Winner for her clay collection ECHOES. Two Merit Awards were also presented; to Fiona Jack for Rahu Bottles and Andrea du Chatenier for Softfall.

In a first for the Portage Ceramic Awards, a photographic work has been named as the Premier winner, capturing Teresa Peters’ collection of folded raw clay works. The entry was presented as a large-scale black-framed archival photograph. Exploring earth and fire, Peters’ elemental approach excavates primordial totems, evokes natural history and navigates the tropes of archaeology. Interested in fusing ceramics and contemporary technology, the archival nature of Peters’ work speaks to her interest in preservation systems and museum collections.

I liked the way Peters has combined the use of clay, an ancient archival material, and digital technology to respond to our current predicament, in a time of Covid and climate crisis.” 
- Raewyn Atkinson, 2021 Judge

Whilst this is Peters’ first entry into the Portage Ceramic Awards, she has enjoyed a notable career in the arts, working in Berlin, New York and Aotearoa (full biography below.) Earlier this year, she launched a new body of ceramics titled DISASTROUSFORMS.COM, inspired by a field trip to Pompeii, which is now part of the Auckland Museum online collection. Other recent projects include MOLTENENTITIES.COM 2021, exhibiting in ‘Piki Mai: Up Here’ at the Auckland Art Fair, and at RM Gallery in ‘From things flow’. In October 2021, Peters was a finalist in the Ceramics NZ 60th National Jubilee Exhibition and was awarded the Pak’n Save Merit award for her work ARTEFACTS.

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For the 2021 Awards, two Merit prizes have also been awarded. Based in Auckland, Aotearoa, Fiona Jack caught the attention of the judge with Rahu Bottles , consisting of five hand-built stoneware bottles that were wood-fired with soda at Rahu Road Pottery in Paeroa. Interested in socio-political issues, Jack has an MFA from CalArts Los Angeles and is a Senior Lecturer at the Elam School of Fine Art at The University of Auckland.

Whanganui’s Andrea du Chatenier is a sculptor turned ceramicist, and her porcelain and stoneware clay work Softfall also sparked a special mention from the judge. Holding a Master of Fine Art from Melbourne’s RMIT, du Chatenier currently teaches at UCOL in Whanganui, and has received numerous grants and awards for her accomplished and challenging work in the theatre of clay.

A total of 33 works made it through the final selection at Te Uru, where judge Raewyn Atkinson, herself a two-time Premier Award winner, made her decision. Reflecting the creativity and ingenuity of Aotearoa’s top artists working with clay, the awards provide a vital platform to showcase the diversity of contemporary ceramic practice.

The annual Portage Ceramic Awards exhibition will open at Titirangi’s Te Uru on 4 December 2021, with all shortlisted works on display to the public for the first time.


  • Premier Award 2021:
    Teresa Peters, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
    ECHOES, clay collection archived as framed photography
  • Merit Award 2021:
    Fiona Jack, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
    Rahu bottles, stoneware
  • Merit Award 2021:
    Andrea du Chatenier, Whanganui
    Softfall, porcelain and stoneware clay


4 December 2021 – 27 February 2022
Te Uru 
420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi

Open seven days, 10am to 4.30pm
Free entry

Proudly supported by The Trusts

About The Portage Ceramic Awards:

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.

For more information, visit or follow The Portage Ceramic Awards on Facebook.

Teresa Peters biography:

Teresa Peters is an artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau, currently working in clay and ceramics. She is interested in bodies, earth bodies, forming and transforming. Chemical compounds and molten entities, in intimate combustion. ‘Excavating’ primordial totems’, as we move on into the sixth mass extinction. Ceramics is alchemy. Earth, water, air… fire.

After five years in Berlin and New York, she completed a PGDipFA at Elam in 2015 and was the Ceramics Creative Studio Resident at Studio One Toi Tu 2018/2019. ECHO BONE 2019 was presented as part of the mothermother project situated at LOT23 Studio alongside Judy Darragh and Natalie Tozer, and as part of ‘Clay Dreams - Uku Moemoea’, a group show of contemporary ceramics at Nathan Homestead, featuring Isobel Thom and ceramists from the Manurewa Potter’s Club. ‘New Ceramics Acquisitions’ opened at the Pah Homestead, Wallace Trust in March 2020, where Peters’ work was shown alongside that of Peter Hawkesby. Her interest in earth matters spurs back to her parents, Maree Horner and Roger Peters, both forerunners in the avant-garde Groundswell art movement of the 1970s whichdevelopedconceptual, post-object and earth art in New Zealand.

In February 2021, Teresa launched a new body of ceramics DISASTROUSFORMS.COM, made with the support of Creative New Zealand and Auckland Live. This project explores natural disasters, natural history and archiving. It was inspired by a field trip to Pompeii with Mark Dion and team in 2014, and Auckland Museum Collections Online, where it is now archived under Topics.

Teresa showed MOLTENENTITIES.COM - Notes on moving mountains, new ceramics and archive, as part of ‘From things flow’, at RM Gallery in July 2021 with Shelley Simpson, Kate van der Drift and Kathryn Tulloch. She featured in the Auckland Art Fair 2021, ‘Piki Mai: Up Here’, with mothermother and RM Gallery. In November 2021, she exhibited in TENT, Aotearoa Art Fair, a textile collaboration with mothermother and the West Auckland Resource Centre.

In October 2021 she exhibited three works in the Ceramics NZ 60th National Jubilee Exhibition. She was awarded the Pack and Save Merit award for her work ARTEFACTS.

She is best known for her film work in collaboration with filmmaker Florian Habicht. Since WOODENHEAD, 2003, they have been bending the boundaries of independent cinema and documentary in New Zealand. Her film work has screened widely in international film festivals, including as part of the Cannes official selection. She is currently developing two feature films with Habicht and was a creative consultant on Habicht’s latest documentary, JAMES & ISEY.

Previous exhibitions include ‘Woodenhead’ in Unnerved: The New Zealand project, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, 2010. Her video and drawing work featured in Who is afraid of the big bad wolf a group show from Te Tuhi in 2007, later presented at P.P.O.W Gallery, NYC in 2010.

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