Margot Berkman | News
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No Oxygen Daily Corona Papers Since March 2020

Below painting: 21 x 13 cm acrylic, conté and ink (partly exhibited in Cobra Museum August 2020)

Since the lockdown in March 2020, since the outbreak of the pandemic, I have created a series of paintings, drawings and objects. Every day I made a painting with acrylic paint, a drawing with ink or a small paper object with the idea of a lack of oxygen due to Corona. In March 2021 the pandemic still on, it is a large series that, from her studio, is a personal reflection on this radical period.

A publication of all the works of art from one year will be for sale from April 2021.

All the works are together will be a model for a future exhibition. For more information and sale please contact


No Air Corona Oxygen Series Nieuw Dakota March 2020

This work is based on the bioluminescent quality of various oceanic algae, a constant source of inspiration in the work of Margot Berkman.
Nieuw Dakota is proud to present a selection of submissions from our Corona Archives. The Corona Archives is the first initiative in the Netherlands to put Covid-19 on the agenda from an artistic perspective. From March 15, artists, thinkers and writers will share their stories and express social isolation, worry, anger, fear, despair. The entries show menacing undertones and how we subdue them with reason, humor, measures and our personal daily life.
Corona connects us all: “His audacity makes clear to us something that we already knew but could not yet estimate very well: at how many levels we are interconnected, everywhere, and the complexity of the world in which we live is social, political. , economic, but also interpersonal and psychological cohesion. ” (Paulo Giordano, In times of contamination, March 2020) The translocal connection of the world becomes visible in the standstill. That standstill creates a new domain. How will this new domain take shape and how will corona change our lives? We do not want to miss this moment when the individual and the collective, far away and near, are so sharply redefined.
Nieuw Dakota does this by monitoring society for a longer period of time, imagining it and yet also celebrating it. Like the pandemic, we go through three phases:

Artcommission for Amstelveen

Work in progress – bijna gereed …..


Atelier Margot Berkman has been commissioned by the City of Amstelveen to realize a large work of art in the public area for the Keizer Karelplein in Amstelveen. The research for the preliminary design has started and will be presented to the residents. The artwork will be placed in spring 2020.


100 years of Electoral Rights for Women in the Netherlands

100 years of Electoral Rights for Women in the Netherlands – Library of the Monastery in Wittem, The Netherlands,  7th until 29th September 2019.


In 2019, Electoral Rights for Women in the Netherlands is 100 years old. Curator Annette Reiff has invited 100 leading female artists to show their work in the beautiful Monastery of Wittem. A work from the series The Ocean Breathes is on show.


This drawing in chalk, ink and paint, represents for me the femininity of the sea, the golden source of our existence. A bioluminescent, luminous form in the infinite deep black. The Ocean Breathes and gives oxygen and strength.


(Margot Berkman 2019)

with oa. Lydia Schouten, Mirjam Abraas, Caren van Herwaarden, Vera Hilger ea.

Dreef expositie ‘Don’t know much about algae-bra’ Provinciehuis Noord Holland


DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ALGAE-BRA: New Exhibition in Provinciehuis van Noord Holland       

Visual arts and sustainability meet in the new Dreef exhibition DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ALGAE-BRA from 29 March, curated by curator Aart van der Kuijl. There are installations, soft sculptures, tapestry and objects by Margot Berkman and Pieter W. Postma, and paintings by Naomi Mitsuko Makkelie.


The exhibition is subtitled THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF PHOTOSYNTHESE. Algae play an essential role in this. More than 50% of the oxygen production in our atmosphere is caused by photosynthesis of algae, such as plankton, algae and kelp forests. The three artists are inspired by the richly varied marine flora and refer directly or indirectly to this in their art.


On Friday 29 March, Jack van der Hoek, Deputy of Culture and Sustainability, will open the exhibition at 5 p.m. Art lovers are cordially invited to be present. After this, the exhibition can be viewed until 3 May on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Paviljoen Welgelegen, Dreef 3 in Haarlem. Entrance is free.



Appendix: background information DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT ALGAE-BRA

The title of the exhibition refers to the song by Sam Cooke – “What a Wonderful World.” The works of the three Dutch artists focus on the wonderful world of water around us, and its significance for the ecosystem. Algae are not only important for oxygen production. They are also gaining in value for the food industry and science. For example, seaweed is full of minerals.


About the artists:

Margot Berkman: her greatest source of inspiration is the sea. She investigates the longing for this, the depths of the underwater world and makes discoveries during her daily beach walks. After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan, all the seaweed in that area died. As we know, seaweed provides oxygen in the air. Algae and algae are the lungs of the world. She processes her research in all kinds of materials: drawings, bronze objects and sculptures, but also in soft sculptures such as hanging spatial carpets.

The paintings by Naomi Mitsuko Makkelie are about thinking about the meaning, ethics and value of immortality, and how the future and the past influence each other on a historical, cultural and scientific level. Events can only be viewed as “good” or “bad” if they are viewed in the context of a certain point in time. An incident can be considered good at a certain moment and bad in a subsequent period. In the paintings of Makkelie, those notions of good and bad do not exist, because it is impossible to determine whether an event is positive or negative in the present.

Pieter W. Postma is first and foremost a gifted storyteller. His stories extend to other worlds than ours. To parallel universes, populated by surrealistic apparitions. They explore each other and our universe, using often brightly colored vehicles and vessels or more abstract objects. Postma shows them to us, as individual artifacts in a contemporary Wunderkammer. In his images and installations he combines hard with soft materials. The surrealistic means of transport are mainly made up of wood, polyester, textiles and metals. The figures, rocket sailors and sea creatures, their suits and masks, are made from rubbers, (artificial) leather and other fabrics.


a special letter November 2018

I received a touching letter about The Ocean Breathes-Sealight from Mrs. de Vos, and she gave permission to share it with you..


Dear Mrs. Berkman,

I have been coming to the Oncology Center of the Spaarne Gasthuis in Hoofddorp very regularly since April. And from the end of July in the Anthony van Leeuwenhoek section (on the ground floor) to undergo radiation for breast cancer.


I did not notice your artwork “The Ocean Breathes” in the Oncology Centre,  but since my radiotherapy I do. I always look up, while sitting at the reading table and waiting for my turn. It’s really beautiful and the artwork gives me energy, especially because it has to do with seaweed. I myself am a lover of seaweed, to take it in my hands and play with the long strings and to let them move through the wind. Formerly on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and the last years in Sweden on the island of Ljusterö, where the nature reserve Langnö is. So beautiful and still.

Thank you for your comfort and future perspective through “The Ocean Breathes”.


Mrs. M. de Vos (83 years)


I wrote her …


Dear Mrs. de Vos,


Thank you for the beautiful words and the photo of Langnö. I don’t know that place but it looks wonderful and soothing. It is so nice to hear that my artwork gives a beautiful, powerful energy, just where you need it most: while waiting for  a treatment. The artwork ‘The Ocean breathes – Sealight’ was installed in May of this year.

If you want to send me your postal address, I will send you a postcard of the artwork. I wish you a lot of strength with the treatment and that you heal completely !

A sweet sea greeting,

Margot Berkman



Elisabeth van Thüringen Prize Opening Exhibition

De Elisabeth van Thüringen Prize is awarded to the  healthcare-centre that realizes the best art project.


Head of jury, Ann de Meester, director of Frans Hals Museum, hands out the prize of 50.000 euros. Margot Berkman opens the exhibition of the finalists on November 17th 2018 in the Janskerk, Haarlem.