Margot Berkman | Portfolio Categories Public Area
archive,paged,tax-portfolio_category,term-public-area-en,term-194,paged-4,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,select-child-theme-ver-1.1,select-theme-ver-2.4.1,vertical_menu_enabled, vertical_menu_transparency vertical_menu_transparency_on,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.2.0,vc_responsive

I am lying at the Seadeer at Maasvlakte 2 Rotterdam 2010

Measurements: 15 m x 8 m x 8 m


Hi…., where do I see you on the Maasvlakte? ….. ‘I am lying with the Seadeer’


I want to take you along in my search for the designs I made. If you want to come along, close your eyes and lay down on your towel in the warm sand. The sun is shining bright and it’s a beautiful day. A gentle breeze provides cooling, and the seawater is clear. You have your cooler and a good book next to you and your children are happy and excited. 


‘You land – on the beach

I have a collecting tick, I collect stories….Stories about Maasvlakte 2, Stories about Rotterdam, Stories about the sea, and long gone history, Stories that are made up, stories of people.


I collect shapes, objects, drawings and collections, 

Collections that seemingly have nothing to do with each other, 

I make connections that an outsider is not yet able to see. 


I am an archeologist, I dig, deeper and deeper, I dig up connections, the images and the stories, that are all hidden in the cubic meters of sprayed sand from the Maasvlakte 2. I dig in musea, in the meaning of La dame à la Licorne, I dig in the role of the senses of desire, I dig to the beauty of paradise, the Hortus Conclusus.


I am an artist, From my own being I imagine my own desire to create paradisiacal places with art. 

Especially for visitors to Maasvlakte 2, to play with ideas, backgrounds and meanings.

Images that stimulate fantasy in an elegant way. Recognizable and rich.

Here stands my sculpture.



A mon seul Désir © Berkman en Janssens 2010, for the Mayor of Utrecht

Measurements: 12,5 m x 2,5 m x 3,5 m


The Farewell Gift of Mayor MRS. Brouwer-Korf to the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands by Berkman en Janssens in 2010.


The inspiration for the artwork ‘A mon seul Désir’, is the desire (Désir) of Mrs. Brouwer to donate an artwork the Utrecht district Leidsche Rijn where people can meet each other. ‘A mon seul Désir’ is one of six carpets from the medieval carpet series ‘La Dame à la Licorne’. In the carpet series, Berkman and Janssens found all kinds of references to Mrs Brouwer and her desire to bring art to Leidsche Rijn.


The carpet from Musée de Cluny

The lady puts her jewelry on the tapistry (Mrs Brouwer lays down her symbolic necklace) and the tent-like residence where the lady can seek shelter and receive visitors. (meeting place). The environment in which the lady is sitting on the carpet (a Hortus) also corresponds to the place where the artwork is placed. The translation of this medieval source of inspiration into a modern, inventive and fairytale work of art for the public space is characteristic of the method of work of Berkman and Janssens.


Cooperation Landscape Architects

In close cooperation with the Project Office Leidsche Rijn and Landscape Architects Lodewijk Baljon, the most attractive location for the artwork in Park Leeuwesteyn was chosen; in the middle of the park with a view of the water.


 ‘A mon seul Désir’

The concrete bench is 12.5 m long, 2.5 m wide and the height is 45 cm. Colorful ceramic tiles are casted in concrete to create a nice shiny seat surface. In the middle of the bench, in the longitudinal direction, there are 7 figurative white sculptures that together represent the senses ‘the smell, the taste, the seeing and the hearing’. The white images are made of 2 cm thick steel and have a glossy white coating. The size of the entire image group is approximately 11 meters long. The highest image (the tree) is about 3 meters high.



Book ‘A mon seul Désir’

Art classes and Exhibition of art classes for young people from Via Nova College in Leidsche Rijn.


Salone de Mobile Milaan Yearbook Textiellab 2012


‘Washed ashore’ serie in Yearbook 2012 Textiellab Salone di Mobile Milaan.


Errol van de Werdt from the Textile Museum in Tilburg presented the first copy of Yearbook TextielLab 2012 during the Salone di Mobile in Milan. (Design: Raw Color)


‘Washed ashore’, the soft-sculpture seaweedseries by Margot Berkman is part of this presentation. The Yearbook presents the most striking textile art / fashion / architecture / projects that were produced in the past year.


Artists: BOZAR architecture, Kiki van Eijk, Thonik, Bernotat & Co, Schiphol Real estate, Apto, Studio Samira Boon. Karin van Dam, Q8 HQ benelux, D&Z Architecten, Sara Vrught, Margot Berkman, Walter van den Beirendonk, Marga Weimans, LEW, Masterclass Jan Taminiau, Selina van Grondelle, Linda Valkeman, Ursula Wagner, Niels Heijmans, Emilie Pallard, BCXSY, Lenneke Langenhuijsen, Martijn van Strien, Colette Vermeulen, Satoki Kuwano, Lola Barré, Chrissie Houtkoper, Sabine Staartjes, Mohammed Barach, Ton van der Borcht, Dagmara Stephan, Conny Groenewegen , Aya Nonogaki, Pierre Antoine Vettorello, ea…


The Birds from Kattenburg © Berkman en Janssens 2009 Rochdale Amsterdam

Measurements: 25 m x 3 m


A cheerful steel fence, new lighting and tiles with singing orange birds on the walls – art piece of Berkman en Janssens



The Kattenburg birds’ increase social security in the neighbourhood. The birds placed on top of the fence provide a real ‘ garden feeling’ and prevent the fence from being seated.

La Vue © Berkman en Janssens 2009 for Rochdale IJburg Amsterdam

Bouncing white monkeys and green leaves decorate the walls.


Housing association Rochdale commissioned Berkman and Janssens in 2009 to decorate their properties with works of art at both IJburg and Amsterdam Centrum.


The designs made by the artists were the source of inspiration for the art lessons for children from that neighbourhood. They  have made their own collages and learned about the symbolic meaning of the animals.



Amor en Fortuna © Berkman en Janssens 2010 Vianen bicycle tunnel

Measurements: 90 m x 3,5 m


Amor Fati – Love for the destiny


This fairytale like bicycle tunnel with still-lives of white elephants and monkeys and golden four-leaf clovers  adorns the public area of Vianen. Six large still lives of steel sculptures have been installed in the tunnel.



The source of inspiration of the artist duo Berkman en Janssens is derived the history of Vianen. In the Middle Ages Vianen was a Freecity. Many people in search for better opportunities and looking for happiness moved towards Vianen. When travelers walked into the city, they often had great stories about traveling through foreign countries with exotic habits and wondrous animals such as tigers and elephants. Some elephants carried tiny houses on their backs. The elephant became the symbol of travel and luck.


From the research preceding the final design is the following text: Amor Fati is a Latin expression meaning “love for the destiny”, the loving of the inevitable and is best known from the work of Friedrich Nietzsche .


In German:

Liebe das, was nothwendig ist” – amor fati dies wäre meine Moral, thue ihm alles Gute an und hebe es über seine schreckliche Herkunft hinauf zu dir.”


In Die fröhliche Wissenschaft: “Ich will immer mehr lernen, das Nothwendige an den Dingen als das Schöne sehen: – so werde ich Einer von Denen sein, welche die Dinge schön machen. Amor fati: das sei von nun an meine Liebe! Ich will keinen Krieg gegen das Hässliche führen. Ich will nicht anklagen, ich will nicht einmal die Ankläger anklagen. Wegsehen sei meine einzige Verneinung! Und, Alles in Allem und Grossen; ich will irgendwann einmal Nur noch ein Ja-Sagender sein.”


De Dame en de Zwaan © Berkman en Janssens Gorinchem 2003

Measurements: 250 m x 6 m (including 650 m2 tiling)


Masterplan ‘Art in Tunnels’ commissioned by Project Organization Betuweroute, Prorail.


The artwork the ‘Lady with the Swan’ is inspired by the stories of the Knights of Brederode, rulers of Gorinchem. The enormously high viaduct, on the Grote Haarse Kade, is part of the ‘Art in Tunnels’ Master Plan for the Betuweroute Project Organization, in which Margot Berkman examined the crossings in urbanized areas.


In addition to the realization of 7 tunnels with art, artistduo Berkman and Janssens have given art lessons on how they make a design for a work of art for a specific location. Children and adults learned about the historical background of their living environment. The artwork consists of 650m2 of decorated tiles and concrete clinkers with black and white natural stone, 24 columns with decorative painting.


De Dames en de Muze ©Berkman en Janssens Bos en Lommer 2003

Measurements: 500 m2


A paradise beneath highway A10 in Amsterdam


The artwork ‘De Dames en de Muze’ by Berkman en Janssens connects two neighbourhoods in Amsterdam-West. In the pedestrian- and cyclist tunnel under highway A10, on the Leeuwendalersweg in Amsterdam, thousands of blue and golden sparrows surrounds fairytale bright green tile tableau. The paintings on the pillars of the tunnel were inspired by historical Amsterdam that also refers to Eastern cultures.


Berkman and Janssens gave art classes to children and women at various schools in the neighbourhood, about how they design and realize art for public area. Exhibitions of the results were organized at the Stadskantoor Amsterdam West and at the primary school at Leeuwendalersweg. De Bos en Lommerschool has received a large tile tableau from the artists.



Greetings from Delfshaven ©Berkman en Janssens 2001

Measurements: 600m2


Old architectural details from Rotterdam can be seen in the subway station.


Subway station Delfshaven was renovated in 2001 by the RET and fully decorated with artworks with delft-blue architectural motifs inspired by the historic buildings of Delfshaven in Rotterdam.


Artistduo Berkman and Janssens have given art classes at six schools in Delfshaven, about making designs for public area,  the art history of decoration on buildings. They have designed a special ceramic tile that has been given to local residents and schools.


Under the Magnolia Tree 2013

Measurements: 20 m x 6 m


The magnolia tree provides eternal spring
The source of inspiration for this poetic sculpture are the stories from the old care center Huize Transwijk in Utrecht, the Netherlands, which used to stand on the spot of the new residential building. The sculpture gives the idea of ​​recognition and memory, in the perspective of time. There used to be an old magnolia tree in the garden of Huize Transwijk. 


Magnolias symbolize eternal spring, where time passes without any noticeable changes. Two hunting dogs are faithfully waiting for it. The symbol of the magnolia tree also represents the ongoing transition from old to new. From young to old.


In Utrecht and surroundings Margot Berkman is known for large art commissions in the public space she made with artist-duo Berkman en Janssens. Cycling you recognize her clear handwriting in the tunnels of the Berekuil with thousands of tiles with bears, in the decorated walls of the tunnel at the Rietveld House and the Archimedeslaan, in the bench in Leidsche Rijn that formed the farewell gift for former mayor Annie Brouwer-Korf. In 2012 she was solo commissioned for  the monument to the throne, a king’s tree for King Willem Alexander, in the Máxima park.