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Self-trained Wellington ceramic artist Robert Rapson has won this year's $15,000 Premier Portage Ceramic Award for his multi-piece installation, Himalaya Serves the World 1949-Early 70s.

Judge Amy Gogarty of Canada presented the award at a ceremony at The Silos in the Wynyard Quarter last night. "Rapson combines efficient drawing, delicious scumbles and keenly observed detail with beautifully modelled plastic form," she said. "He reconfigures vivid childhood memories with imagination and wit, creating a vibrant tableau that invites engagement. His capacity to fully conjure up this improbable scene, to tap into collective fantasies of far-off places and celebratory events using the most direct and expressive of means deserves my highest recognition and respect."

Two inaugural international residencies were also announced last night. The first, a Guldagergaard residency in Skaelskor, Denmark, was won by Richard Stratton of Wellington. Levin artist Melissa Ford won the second residency in Medalta, Medicine Hat, Canada.

Three $2000 merit awards were also announced for Jane McCullah and Kim Henderson, both from Canterbury, and Maria Hewitt, of Northland.


Sixty works by finalists and winners are on show at The Silos from today until October 20.

A People's Choice Award will also be given this year. Voting forms are available at the exhibition.