Raewyn Atkinson was born in Napier, New Zealand. She has a Bachelor of Arts 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 internationally. Atkinson was the recipient of the Portage Ceramic Award in both 2003 and 2015 and in 2021 she was its judge. In 2015 she was awarded the Juror’s Prize at the Gyeonggi International Ceramics Biennale in South Korea. Her work was also included in the curated 2010 Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Korero: Ceramics in Conversation.
A three-month Japanese residency in 1998 combined with two visits to Antarctica, first in 2000 on an Antarctica Art Fellowship and another journey in 2003, sparked an interest in working with translucent porcelain. These visits have resulted in several major exhibitions, Terra Nova, (Dowse Art Museum, Wellington 2002, Te Manawa 2003) and Designs on Antarctica, Wellington City Gallery 2005, Objectspace, Auckland 2006. Work by Atkinson is held in a number of national and public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa and international collections that include LACMA, USA and the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art, Shigaraki, Japan.