Phillipa Durkin is a Wellington based artist working in ceramics. She studied ceramics, printmaking and photography at the Chelsea College of Art, London, 1993-95, and art conservation at the Camberwell College of Art, 1995-97, attaining a BA (Hons) in Conservation. She returned to New Zealand in 1999 to take up the position of Conservator, works on paper, for The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, which she currently holds.
She was a selected finalist in the 2004 Portage Awards (for ceramics), and her work's subsequent exhibition in Lopdell House Gallery, Auckland, marked the beginning of a serious interest in working with ceramics as a sculpture medium. Her work has largely been themed around New Zealand's history of whaling, sealing, and other bloody industrial pursuits of the 19th and early 20th centuries. A seven-month wintering-over period in Antarctica in 2007, spent working on conserving objects in Shackleton's hut, provided further inspiration and an expansion of the theme of her work.
Another interest is sailing. Phillipa owns and sails the classic yacht Loloma, a 28-footer built in 1909. She is involved in Wellington's Classic Yacht Trust, a group that acquires old boats and restores them to seaworthiness.
Watch 'Weekend Warriors' video.
2012 Channeling Tory; the early colonial view - Gilberd Marriott Gallery, Wellington (with Denise Durkin)
2010 Tohora/Whales – The Suter Gallery, Nelson
2010 Objectspace, Auckland - Shore party installation (window display)
2010 Portage Ceramic Awards – Lopdell House Gallery
2010 Ceramics & works on paper, Gilberd Marriott Gallery, Wellington (with Denise Durkin)
2009 Portage Ceramic Awards – Lopdell House Gallery
Merit Award winner
2009 Group Show – Gilberd Marriott Gallery
Four ceramic works relating to Shackleton’s hut
2008 Portage Ceramic Awards – Lopdell House Gallery
Merit Award winner
2008 North Facing – photographs from Scott Base, Antarctica, Photospace Gallery, Wellington
2006 From the body of a whale - Culture – Ea Gallery
2006 Portage Ceramic Awards – Lopdell House Gallery
2006 Natural Selection II - Waiheke Community Art Gallery Ceramic invitational (group show)
2006 Winter / Over – Lopdell House Gallery, Auckland
2005 Portage Ceramic Awards – Lopdell House Gallery
Emergent Artist Award
2004 Portage Ceramic Awards – Lopdell House Gallery Selected finalist.