Artist Spotlight: Margo van Rooyen

Margo van Rooyen is an anti-waste artist. Hyper-aware of the drastic environmental changes occurring today, especially in her native South Africa, Margo avoids the unnecessary in her work. Repurposing and reusing are key processes in her practise. Her studio is currently awash with found objects from the Leipzig area. These objects are given new life in this multi-disciplinary artist’s studio.

She describes her work as something that “percolates”. Pieces alter depending on environment. Many of Margo’s pieces have a half-life and are not meant for longevity. She is interested in the current urge to preserve and actively plays with the tension of conserving objects that are not meant to last. For Almost Tension Margo dipped a series of leaves into resin in order to maintain the colour. A sense of unease is evoked as the viewer gazes upon something lasting artificially beyond its intended lifespan.

How her pieces complement and interact with one another is also important for Margo. She often ponders on whether her pieces are cohesive, uniform or relevant. For her, simplicity is at the forefront. Margo sees monochromaticity, in its purest black and white form, as the best way to “preserve detail”. Currently her studio boasts an uncomplicated colour palette that highlights the details and nuances of her work. The process of collecting and finding objects has also been very black and white. If the object is “right” for the project is comes with her to the studio. If it is “wrong”, then it stays put.

Margo wants to see “how people pick up on what [she] picked out”

Margo’s work doesn’t shout, but rather “hangs out”, waiting to strike up conversation. How the audience engage and interact with her pieces is an important aspect of Margo’s work. Deciding which pieces occupy her studio also depends on whether she feels they really speak to each other. This dialogue alters when the pieces reach the exhibition space. Margo aims to make sure her pieces are “comfortable” in their new environment.

Margo is further interested in how her two displays, one at the Alte Handelsschule and the other at the PILOTENKUECHE studio, will speak to each other. How will the conversation between her pieces develop? Will her work be comfortable in both spaces? Come along to the next exhibition Hard Fluid Betrayal and hang out with Margo’s work!

Written by Rosie Shackleton

Almost Tension

Sat 29 Feb 2019

sound performance by Tomas Nuñez
duration performance by Sarah Bild

Geisserstr 75
04229 Leipzig

Sun 1 Mar, Thur 5 – Sat 7 Mar 

Hard Fluid Betrayal

Sat 21 Mar 2019


Sun 22 Mar – Tue 24 Mar

Franz-Flemming-Str 904179 Leipzig

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