Merran Esson




“Merran Esson has lived in the vast interior of inland Australia as well as amid the intensely urban confines of its largest cosmopolitan city – Sydney. Her work expresses the contrast between these extremes. Stunned by the way physical environment imposes boundaries on scale, form and function, Esson produces vigorous clay vessels (often pierced) that invite an exploration of the polarities of inside/outside, interior/exterior and belonging/exclusion. Esson is also inspired by the vagaries of texture and its reflection in the Australian landscape, particularly where there is a contrast between the environmental and the industrial; her large vessels have unique textural properties which probe vernacular ideas about surface and form. Investigating concerns of identity and location, Esson’s works respond to different physical environments and re-evaluate scale, form and function. Recent works, begun in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains near Tumbarumba in NSW in south eastern Australia are rural in origin but have an industrial scale. Esson combines liner patterns of the land as seen from the air with surfaces that resemble aged and corroded metal, as found in abandoned water tanks left to rust in back paddocks.”
Extract from an essay titled “A Survey of a Sense of Place” by Stephen Bowers. Published in Ceramics Art and Perception. Issue 58 2004.

Trees of the Monaro.2018. So many journeys have informed this work, influences from road trips through the Monaro area in NSW, time spent in Cézanne’s Provence in Southern France, and studying cactus in Mexico. The recent work realises an abstract simplification that triggers one’s own sensations. These are the ideas that keep the traveller awake through the miles traversed to get there, and they are the passing images that become familiar and permeate the creative processes that inform this work. They are voluptous forms that speak of passion and longing.