Latvia Ceramics Biennale 2023

Latvia Ceramics Biennale is a key event in contemporary ceramics in the Baltic region. The biennale is organised by the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Ceramics in cooperation with the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre. The event attracts artists from all over the world and seeks to develop and promote contemporary ceramics in Latvia and the Baltics. The central event of the biennale is Martinsons Award – an international juried exhibition held on the premises of the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre as a testament to the current vitality of ceramic art and a tribute to Pēteris Martinsons – the world-renowned Latvian ceramicist.


Latvia, Daugavpils, 8 September 2023 –18 February 2024

Latvian Centre for Contemporary Ceramics in cooperation with the Daugavpils Mark Rothko Art Centre announces an open call for the MARTINSONS AWARD 2023 International Ceramics Competition under the 4th Latvia Ceramics Biennale 2023.



Troubled Waters

In most creation myths worldwide, water is the element that brings new life. A substance from which a divine power separates the earth, life and everything that is. Troubled waters have become a compelling metaphor for flight of thought, an apt material approximation for the intangible. We gaze into the cosmic depths and look for other planets where troubled waters may have brewed another rich organic cocktail from the heaving masses of the global ocean – just like the one that nourished prehistoric life on earth – and brought forth other life forms that – who can tell – may even now be dancing in its waves.

Troubled waters make clay supple and receptive to creator’s touch. They coax the rigid mass to yield to change and new creation. The archetypical perspective on ceramics is tied to reigning in the troubled waters – arresting their flow in a body of clay. The relationship of water and ceramics is as old as the human ability to work with the material. Our stories of ancient civilisations are rooted in archaeological finds, where most artefacts are ceramic objects – little time capsules that have captured history itself and tell of past aquatic presence through their marks.

We, humans, see ourselves as omnipotent creators, wielding all but absolute power to bend the world to our will. Yet we forget some things are still beyond our control. The storms that shake the world today are also rippling in the arts. Their impact can take many shapes and forms, from a polished blade to a shining pearl matured in hiding from the winds.


Individual artists and artist groups are invited to submit their artworks for the MARTINSONS AWARD 2023 International Ceramics Competition. The applicants are not restricted by age or nationality. Each applicant (individual artist or a group) can submit up to two artworks. MARTINSONS AWARD 2021 recipients who won Gold, Silver or Bronze in both National and International categories cannot run in the 2023 competition. 

The ceramic component of the artwork must be at least 80%, and it must have been created in 2021-2023. The work can’t have been displayed in other competitions. The minimum size of the artwork should be at or above 25cm in at least one dimension (height, width or depth). There are no maximum size restrictions.


Individual artists or artist groups are invited to apply for the MARTINSONS AWARD 2023 International Ceramics Competition via an ONLINE APPLICATION FORM below (⇓).

Each applicant can submit up to 2 artworks.

Up to 3 high printing quality jpg or jpeg images (at least 300 dpi) per submitted artwork should be attached to the Application Form.

The images should feature the artwork on a neutral background (white, black or grey).

The images of the selected artworks may be used in the exhibition catalogue. Image quality may affect selection results.

Do not use your name or surname in the file names of the attached photos.

Applications must be submitted by 25 May 2023.  Applications received after 25 May 2023 will not be considered.

Website link: Biennale (

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