Raewyn Atkinson was born in Napier, New Zealand. She has a B.A.in Art History from Victoria University and an involvement with clay that spans over 30 years during which time she has exhibited widely both nationally and internnationally.
She has received numerous grants and awards including a CNZ Creative Investment Grant, Fletcher Challenge Awards, the Premiere Norsewear Art Award in 2003 and the Premiere Portage Ceramic Award in both 2003 and 2015. in 2015 she was also awarded the Juror's Prize at the Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale in South Korea.
A three month Japanese residency 1998 combined with two visits to Antarctica, the first in 2000 on an Antarctica Art Fellowship and a second in 2003, led to working with translucent porcelain and have resulted in several major exhibitions, TERRA NOVA and DESIGNS ON ANTARCTICA.
Other significant interational residencies have included the Australian National University,Canberra and the University of Hawaii, Honolulu. The most recent was a three year (2009-2012) unofficial ‘visiting scholar’ residency at the School of Art Practice, U.C. Berkeley, California, where the facilities provided an opportunity to experiment with porcelain and glaze on a monumental scale. The local environment also provided material and inspiration for a current interest in working with found and waste clay and ceramic.
Work is held in a number of national public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa and international collections including LACMA, U.S.A. and the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shigaraki, Japan.
"Raewyn creates a tremendous tension between the sense of robustness and rough surfaces, versus a sense of beauty and fragility." – Sarah Farrar, Wellington City Art Gallery, 2006