Oliver Morse is the inaugural winner of the Emerging Practitioner in Clay Award presented by the Rick Rudd Foundation.
Oliver Morse, who has never had formal training in working with clay, received the $10,000 award for his work House of Dee. He trained in theatre set design at Toi Whakaari in Wellington and had been painting since he was at high school. He got into pottery after buying some plates at an op shop and used them as canvasses.
Judges Tom Seaman, Paul Rayner and Rick Rudd commented that the ‘enigmatic award-winning work could only have been made in the 21st century.’ They noted that Morse brings his experience of painting and the theatre to his ceramics and demonstrates the potential to become a force in the medium in the future. ‘This epitomises the reason for the Award being established.’
The award received 65 entries from around New Zealand, and 37 finalist works are on display at Quartz, Museum of Studio Ceramics, in Whanganui.