Water Salad on Monday

Pig & Dove

Water Salad on Monday is an on-site, immersive experience of cinematic photographs that tenderly pick their way through the special natures of Elm Tree, a working farm staffed by adults with learning disabilities.  The show pastes, staples and hangs vast monochrome portraits and fleeting moments onto walls, hay bales and sheds around the farm.  

Esther was in situ to witness animal birth and death, mud and blood, community and care while clicking her battered, analogue cameras through the seasons.  Portraying the life-affirming hotbed of care, compassion and graft of the farm, the exhibition is a treasure trail of sensory pleasure holding still life for a single moment, surrounded by its living, breathing muses in resplendent Autumn light.

Sometimes you only realise what’s been lacking when it appears. Most photographic shows display work in sterile surroundings cut off from context. Water Salad on Monday is different. The pictures – a poignant mix of unguarded portraits, captured moments, still lives – are chanced upon in unexpected places around the farm on which they were taken. In an orchard, a pig sty, pinned to a straw bale, hidden in a barn, peeped at through a high window and the effect is resonant, lingering, multi-layered. Rich, nuanced, context floods in through the ears and nose as well as the eyes. There’s such a closeness to the photos. Tender and acutely observed, building to a deeply-felt love letter to the land. Mike White, Boneshaker.

There is love in these photos. The quality is fantastic– Darren Shepherd, photographer

I can’t recommend this enough. A wonderful immersive exhibition. Esther has taken hugely emotive shots of the people who work on the farm… It’s such a fabulous idea and if I’m honest, it blew me away. – Lifestyle District 

I genuinely don’t know how Esther does what she does – the photos are remarkable, relevant, heart-felt and important– Adam Laity, cinematographer

Amazingly beautiful, grounded, unpretentious – Dave Howell, Fatcat Records

An utter delight, beautifully produced and a wonderfully empathetic portrayal – Black and White photography magazine

Water Salad on Monday was kindly supported by The Arts Council of Great Britain.

The accompanying limited edition book is available on this site and in shops.


In 2018, The Bristol Art Library commissioned a book. Esther produced Whalebone, a series of images touching on the story of the Tahlequah, a whale who grieved last year for her dead calf over 28 days in the Atlantic.  Esther came across a whale closer to home, shed up on a Cornish beach.  She was one of many that had been starving over the winter around England’s shores.



I travel on a boat, down a vast broad river.  A structure sits on the centre of this vessel; a tower of humans.  I’m on the deck looking out. A hand slips into mine. I look down. There stands a little girl. I guess she’s my daughter. We see the banks.  Fallen trees.  Concrete blocks cutting into wasted and precarious soil.  Skeletons of business parks suffocate what was once forests and meadows.  At each turn of the river I hope to see some form of life, but instead more rubble and grey skies twist into view.  It is a dead land.  Then I hear a crash. We look back.  A landslide far behind.  A vast clod of earth rolls down, forming a giant pellet before it hits the water. Tornado-like it hurtles at speed in our direction. A call to the others but in the tower they say ‘we are doing OK, tucked up here, cruising down the River of Life‘.  But the earth has its own idea. It hits us with conscious force.  Everything shakes.  My daughter turns to me – what  now?

Then I woke up.

Petrichor is a new feature in development with support from the British Film Institute written by Esther.  The project has been selected by Torino Film Lab and it is being produced by Rosie Crerar, Samm Haillay & Ciara Barry.  It tells of the unfolding narrative of our species as imagined through a love triangle set six hundred years in the future – a battle of ideologies and a war of the heart experienced by strident Ruth and the two compelling men she falls for.

Petrichor; the smell of the earth after the rain.

Record Sleeves & Moving Pictures

Over time musicians have come to Esther for moving pictures & record sleeves – Kath Bloom, Nancy Elizabeth, Bass Clef, James Blackshaw, Angel Tech, Joe Volk, Some Truths. Good people.