Teresa Peters ︎︎︎

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Exhibitions 2021 - 2022 

    2 MAY ~ 3 JUNE 2023, PREVIEW APRIL 29 2~4PM

  • ECHOES Portage Premier Award Winner 2021 ︎ Portage Ceramic Awards Te Uru - Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery

  • ARTEFACTS Merit Award Winner 2021 ︎Ceramics New Zealand National Exhibition Diamond Jubilee, 2021

  • TENT 2021, Mothermother, Finger Pricks & Curses, Nov 2021

  • Mothermother Iteration 10 Portraits @ Aotearoa Art Fair 2021

  • Foolscap, RM Gallery and Project Space Aotearoa Art Fair 2021

Exhibitions 2020 - Prehistory 

  • ECHO BONE, New Ceramic Aquisitions @ Pah Homestead 2020

  • ECHO BONE, Studio One Toi Tu Ceramics Creative Studio Residency Exhibition, 2018 - 2019

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2022 ++

Portage 2021 Press ︎


  • RETURN OF THE PORTAGE review by Jemma Giorza ︎  Ceramics New Zealand Magazine Winter 2022


Info ︎︎︎

Teresa Peters is an artist and filmmaker based in Tamaki Makaurau, currently working in clay and ceramics, photography and moving image. 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...

mothermother @AOTEAROA ART FAIR NOV 16 - 20 2022




Ceramics in a time of Covid and the Anthropocene It is two years since
the last Portage Ceramic Awards and much has changed in that time. We
are living in the midst of a virus that is still morphing into more
contagious forms, and extreme weather events signalling global warming.
Entries to this year’s awards reflect these times. Covid has changed our
ability to travel and to gather. This level of uncertainty made
inviting an international judge too difficult. The invitation was
extended to me and came out of the blue. It is not a role I coveted but I
felt honoured to be asked and saw it as a way to give back to an award
that has benefited me. I knew when I accepted that it would be an
interesting and challenging task. I was told that fewer entries were
expected, given the short notice and the award not being held last year.
However, there were 226 entries (compared to 205 entries in 2018 and
256 in 2019). I was asked to select a much smaller number than usual,
almost half, as the exhibition was to take up a single gallery, which
made for a more concise show and some very hard decisions. My first view of the entries was in the form of individual computer files and it was
with a sense of anticipation that I opened each one looking first at the
images and then at the title, biography and statement. The cumulative
effect was a sense of being on a digital journey, visiting studios from
one end of Aotearoa to the other. Although the work of some entrants was
familiar, there were many surprises. There were those whose style was
instantly recognisable, but there were others relatively new to ceramics
entering the competition. Among them were students, recent graduates
and those moving to ceramics from other disciplines. There was
conceptual photography and a time-based video, reflecting contemporary
practice. Ecology and concern for the environment were notable, either
overtly in the work, or in the description and statement. There seemed
to be an increased awareness of the value of, and pressure on,
resources, leading to the use of local and recycled clay and glaze
materials. The increased interest in wood-fired surfaces possibly
reflects a concern for sustainability, the values that this type of
firing conveys, as well as aesthetic appeal. It was a challenge to be
called on to select from a wide range of divergent styles, a
heterogeneity that is testimony to a rich ceramic history. The
plasticity and versatility of clay means it can be made to look like
almost anything and serve many purposes. I looked for the poetic, for
synchronicity of concept and process, for resonance. I looked for
relevance and for fresh approaches to the exploration of materials. I
could appreciate pieces that were highly finished and ones where the
materials were barely manipulated. Decisions were made based on emotions and experience. First impressions matter. Without the ability to
experience the physical presence of the work, the photographs had to
impress. Presentation was very important, from how the work was arrange to its background. I looked to the title and the statement to provide
clues and possibly additional layers to what I was seeing. I did not
want the statement to tell me, however, what the object was doing. After
reducing the number of entries by half, I received a box of colour
print-outs which were immediately spread out on the living room floor.
These were shuffled repeatedly as I considered the merits of each work, a
debate that continued in my head even when I was not looking at them. I
could see objects falling into thematic groupings, connections between
seemingly dissimilar objects became apparent. The shape of the
exhibition started to take form. Covid continued to affect plans for the
Portage Ceramic Awards, with dates for the selection and the opening
repeatedly put back. It was exciting to finally see the actual works, to
get up close and to handle them. No matter how carefully I tried to
visualise scale from the dimensions given, it was still a surprise to
see them. Most of them lived up to their image or exceeded my
expectations. I wondered how our closed borders affected the development of ceramics in Aotearoa without the stimulus of visiting international artists and with the opportunity for residencies overseas cut off. Interest in working with clay does not seem to have diminished. A number of ceramic residencies now exist in this country, notably Driving Creek in the Coromandel. This seems to have become a hub for facilitating the growing enthusiasm for wood firing and collaboration among artists, both reliant on the generosity of the ceramic community in the sharing of kilns, knowledge and experience. I would like to thank Andrew Clifford and the Portage Trust for inviting me to judge this year’s
award. I would also like to thank Kenny Willis for making the process as
smooth as possible in challenging circumstances. All who entered have
shaped this exhibition. The task of making the selection was a very
demanding but enriching one. I hope that the exhibition will provoke
curiosity and debate as it has for me.