Margot Berkman | Koraaldrift Heliomare 2023
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Koraaldrift Heliomare 2023

Koraaldrift (2022) – Margot Berkman

Coral  2022 -Margot Berkman

Location: Heliomare Rehabilitation Centre , Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands

Measurements:  9 x 7  x 3,5 meter

Material:  Quartzsand, plasterdispersion , LED lights



 Press release HELIOMARE

Wijk aan Zee, October 24, 2023


Unveiling of the artwork ‘Koraaldrift’ by Margot Berkman at Heliomare

An image of hope


Margot Berkman, wellknown for creating many art commissions in public spaces, including the monument for King Willem Alexander, will donate her work of art ‘Coralpassion’ (‘Koraaldrift’) to Heliomare on Thursday afternoon, November 2 at 5 p.m. as a thank you for all the help she has received in her rehabilitation.Together with Jan Welmers, director of Heliomare, she unveils the group of sculptures.

Berkman is inspired by nature and in particular seaweeds. Seaweed provides more than 54% of the world’s oxygen. Corals live in symbiosis with seaweed. When seaweed dies, the coral also dies from lack of oxygen.

Berkman was on Bonaire in December 2021 and conducted filming and painting research into braincoral. She had discovered that large formations of braincorals came back to life in full splendor after being white and bleached for a year. Recovery appears possible. That sentence later became her motto.

Ironically, two weeks later she was hit from behind by a car while running on Bonaire and her head hit a tree.

In a coma, Berkman was hospitalized and diagnosed with brain damage; she could no longer do anything and was in a wheelchair.

Ultimately, she was allowed to start rehabilitation at Heliomare in May 2022. Berkman created the scu lpture group ‘Koraaldrift’ during her rehabilitation period in her own studio in Zandvoort aan Zee. She has come a long way but is still recovering. Living proof of her motto: Recovery appears possible.


The sculpture group ‘Koraaldrift’

Five coral-like structures surround a nearly four-meter-high, sky-reaching seaweed-like shape that stands at the top of a dune.

These six sculptures together form the artwork ‘Coralpassion (‘Koraaldrift’) and are placed on the experience path at the main entrance of the center for specialist rehabilitation of Heliomare.

With its dimensions of 9 x 7 meters and 3.8 m high, the artwork is a real eye-catcher for patients, employees and visitors. During the day the sculptures are radiantly white, but as soon as dusk sets in, the artwork is magically illuminated, like living coral in the underwater world.

The artwork tells the story about the resilience of nature, the body and the mind. It points you to another, slower world. The special shapes emerge from her research into the many types of brain coral. The corals fight for their existence underwater. They show, colored and less colored, whether their life force is decreasing or increasing. Above water they have settled in the rolling dune. Together the stone-like elements form a special intermediate landscape. They invite you to pause for a moment and think: Are we above or below water?


Brain injury and braincoral

For someone with a brain injury, a different reality, a different world, arises. Just like the underwater world, your world becomes ‘slower’. You slow down due to sensitivity to light and sound, fatigue, reduced concentration and physical complaints.

Margot Berkman believes that with good guidance and strong willpower you can achieve your dreams and hopes that this image group is a source of inspiration for everyone who wants to achieve more in their lives. As a thank you to Heliomare and all the passionate therapists and employees, she donates her brain coral-inspired sculpture group Koraaldrift.



Commissions, Exhibitions, Public Area, Sculptures

artcommission, awareness, corals, koraaldrift, oxygen, sculptures, seaweed