EM Mertens was born in Dunedin, New Zealand. She graduated from the Dunedin School of Art in 1981. Mertens holds a Diploma in Teaching (art and art history) from the Auckland College of Education. Her background includes art education both within school and community environments, freelance design work and independent film making projects. Mertens currently lives in Tokoroa, South Waikato and works full time as an artist. Her work can be found in public and private collections locally and internationally. Mertens’ formal art training was in sculpture. Her work is often a statement about the human relationship with the natural world and the obsessive interaction and disruption of nature by humans. She aims to suspend nature using clay to preserve life without losing any of a form’s beauty, delicacy and perfect imperfections. Mertens is fascinated by, and loves museums and the way humans attempt to contain, document, and display everything for perpetuity regardless of the damage done in the process.