Narek Galleries announces new exhibition

Narek Galleries, the beautiful newly-premised art gallery based in the coastal town of Bermagui NSW, is thrilled to announce Landscape, a new exhibition inspired by the vitality of the rural landscape. Opening on 17 November and continuing through to 15 December, Landscape features four celebrated Australian artists – Merran Esson, Simone Fraser, Janetta Kerr-Grant and Gail Nichols – showcasing each artist’s highly individual responses to the natural world. This synergy between the landscape and the creative process is at the core of Narek Galleries vision. “My intention is to showcase work by renowned artists who acutely observe the natural world and express those distilled observations in their work,” says founder and highly respected curator, Karen O’Clery.

For many urban dwellers, there is a disconnect from the natural world. Landscape offers the opportunity to reconnect by exploring our sense of place, whether that’s where we live and work (Gail Nichols), where we travel (Merran Esson and Simone Fraser), or a memory of a specific place (Janetta Kerr-Grant). The exhibition features ceramics by Esson, Fraser and Kerr-Grant and hooked rugs by Nichols.

Recognised internationally for her innovative approach to soda vapour glazed ceramics, resulting in strong forms with harmonious atmospheric surfaces, Gail Nichols recently moved from ceramics to textiles. The hooked rugs on exhibition describe her ever present fascination with the interaction of climate and landscape experienced daily where she lives and works on a rural property at the foot of Mt. Budawang near Braidwood, NSW.

Janetta Kerr-Grant’s series arises out of time spent deep in the forests of Finland one summer. “I spent my days looking – up close at the papery bark of trees, the pitted surfaces of tree trunks, the grain of the rocks,” says Kerr-Grant. “And, in the distance, staring at the birch and fir trees standing tall and in silhouette against a sun that didn’t set. Pattern, line and texture embedded themselves in how I saw this very different northern hemisphere forest. I did drawings and took many photos as my way of connecting to this unfamiliar landscape. The memories of this time slowly made their way into these works.”

“The vessel form for me has carried within it this wonderful idea of antiquity,” says Simone Fraser, who sees the forms she creates as metaphors or symbols. “On to this timeless canvas I add a contemporary story, layering colour with dry glazes and texturing to conjure images and impressions of landscape; to evoke a sense of shifting seasons and capture the changing light.”

Merran Esson draws on many inspirations for her work, from “road trips through the Monaro area in NSW to time spent in Cézanne’s Provence in Southern France…” She describes her creations as “voluptuous forms that speak of passion and longing, but are pierced with signs of loss.”


Established in 1969 by Karen O’Cleary, Narek Galleries exhibits the best in contemporary Australian ceramics, glass, textiles, wood and metal. The gallery has previously been based in Canberra and Tanja on the far south coast of NSW, and in 2018 relocated to the beautiful NSW south coast town of Bermagui on the Sapphire Coast.

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