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Background

I am an artist working on Gadigal country in Sydney. I work predominantly with harvested clay to explore narratives of place, people, movements, and time. I have studied at National Art School, graduating in 2019 and have since been included in various group exhibitions across Sydney. Since 2020, I have been a co-founder and co-director of The Kitchen Studios and Gallery, providing artist studios and a no-cost gallery space for artists to exhibit and work from.

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How does your work engage and consider the environment, different sites and ecologies?

I have harvested clay from a construction site on the road to Nielsen Park and plan to explore the properties of it, how it fires, how it reacts to glaze, how it responds touch. I plan to print various geological reports from the area and archival photographs on to the clay as a means of incorporating the clay's written history into its physical reality.

Experience with this Country/place and the thoughts it has evoked in you?

As a child, my mother used to take me to Nielsen Park on summer evenings, stopping off at Abdul's on Cleveland Street for a takeaway dinner to be eaten strictly after a swim. This would be a weekly ritual during the hotter months. As adults, we rarely visit Nielsen Park, so the invitation to spend more time there has been warmly welcomed. My first day at the Rockpools was with Maya; I was so impressed by her obvious commitment to the place as she pointed out various living things and commented on the changes she'd been observing over months. That day, I found a shell that looked like an angel's wing and immediately brought it back to my studio to make a sculpture with it. It has since been sitting on my bookshelf, I enjoyed the playfulness of this process. Since then, I have visited the area many times in search of clay. Both successfully and unsuccessfully. The Eastern Suburbs of Sydney do not have a large or accessible clay basin, which was a worry. Most of it is sandstone for a long way down. One visit, after getting into the habit of asking tradies at their work if they happened upon any clay (and risking the embarrassment), a site manager called Nick said yes, he had a heap of clay he was bringing to the tip. His site was a particularly deep excavation on the cliffside facing Rosebay. The clay is perfect, more than perfect. It is smooth, without too much sand, with speckles (possibly illmenite?) with a softness to it that I have rarely found in harvested clay. Working with this clay in my studio has been a treat.

How do you create spaces for contemporary leadership, learning and collaboration with other people and the environment?

My work and leadership evolves tentatively but with focus. When people come together to discuss and learn, an approach that relies on openness, honesty, respect and dedication is required. I try to uphold this in all my movements as artist, collaborator, student and teacher.

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Artist

Marianna Ebersoll

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Thanks!

Floorplan Studio is based in Cadigal country, part of the Eora Nation nowadays referred to as Sydney, Australia. The Gadigal People are part of seven clans in the Eora Nation and have an extensive culture, ecology, stories and songlines unique to their region. Floorplan pays respect to First Nations people and their Elders, Past, Present and Emerging.

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