The Portage Awards were held last night, Thursday 10th November at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi, Auckland. The Portage Awards are the largest ceramic awards in New Zealand and thought of as a 'barometer' that shows the current state of ceramic art in New Zealand each year. Although held in Auckland this is a national award and gathers an eclectic range of ceramic works from across the country.
This year's judge, Janet DeBoos, spoke today about the exhibition and the works she had awarded prizes to, and why she had chosen those works. DeBoos said, "...The thing that I look for in work is to be moved in some way. I want to be moved intellectually, I want to be moved just by the sheer beauty of things, I want to be moved by cleverness but not smarty pants cleverness, I want to be moved by an excitement of something new, something I haven't seen before, an element of novelty, and the best of works often combine all of these aspects together. But given the many different modes of practice across a country where the practice is as diverse as it is in New Zealand, and I must say, it is extraordinarily diverse, I put aside personal likes and dislikes. I can say honestly I don't like every work that's in the show, so I was trying to put aside questions of taste, and actually respond more to the way the work spoke to me."