The winner of the Rick Rudd Foundation's Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award in Whanganui has been announced.
Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni named Auckland-based artist HineWaiKerekere and her work Kererū i roto i te nikau (Kereru in a nikau) as the winner via video message on Monday.
The foundation also gave her a cash prize of $12,000 to enable her to progress her career in ceramics.
The award itself was established to encourage, foster and promote emerging practitioners of studio ceramics, and to present talent which has not been identified previously.
Judges for the 2021 edition were Andrea du Chatenier, John Parker and Rick Rudd.
They said HineWaiKerekere's piece "could only have been made in Aotearoa New Zealand".
"Imaged in clay, one of our iconic birds, the kererū (native pigeon), and one of our iconic trees, the nikau palm, form a trophy-like vessel."
The winning work was made using recycled and local clays and reclaimed glaze remnants with added oxides. It references environmental and sustainability issues and celebrates our native flora and fauna.
"The making is well considered and the confident use of clay and glaze impressed us. The work is loosely formed and textured without being slavishly literal in its execution.
"We hope that by winning the award HineWaiKerekere is able to progress her work with clay and look forward to seeing the potential we view in her work realised in the future."
The award received 67 entries this year, from as far as Auckland and Invercargill.
Of those entries, 29 were selected for an exhibition at Quartz, Museum of Studio Ceramics, in Whanganui.
The exhibition will be on show at Quartz for six months and started yesterday