This year’s £10,000 British Ceramics Biennial AWARD goes to ceramic artist Nao Matsunaga. The FRESH bursary for an outstanding new graduate has been won by Sarah Worgan.

Working in installation, sculpture and drawing, Matsunaga, a Royal College of Art graduate, is inspired by ancient and modern architectural forms and the people who inhabit them. His resulting coiling and textured works manipulate clay and wood to create raw organic forms.

Selected from over 170 applications, Matsunaga was chosen as winner from a shortlist of 21 ceramic artists whose work is currently exhibited alongside his at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent.

The AWARD selection jury included Alun Graves, Curator of Ceramics & Glass at the V&A; Ranti Tjan, Director of the European Ceramic Work Centre in The Netherlands; Flavia Swann, Former Dean, University of Sunderland & Clay Foundation board member; Ian Vines, Exhibitions Officer at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, and the BCB Co-Directors Barney Hare Duke and Jeremy Theophilus.

Speaking of the panel’s decision, Tehophilus said “Nao Matsunaga is an artist with a strong body of work behind him that indicates further fascinating development as he challenges the properties of clay and its relationship with the world. The selectors recognised this delicate position in his professional career and the impetus the Award prize could make.”

Also working in installation, Worgan, a graduate of Cardiff Metropolitan University, was chosen from a shortlist of 33 ceramic graduates for her series of works that Hare Duke believes “collectively framed a rigorous control of material and colour.”

The AWARD exhibition is at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery and FRESH is in the Spoke factory site, which also functions as the main hub of British Ceramics Biennial.

The two exhibitions take place in Stoke-on-Trent as part of the British Ceramics Biennial until 10 November.

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