Mer Liquify : Maggie Roberts :: Artist > Rim Dweller

Maggie Roberts
Artist > Rim Dweller

Elle Decor 2014

Mer Liquify

A collaboration with Missibaba (Chloe, Lizel and Robyn) for Elle D├ęcor. The magazine profiles an artist /designer collaborative project in every issue. Ours was in the October 2014 publication.


Brief bio about each designer: What you do, why, how you started, where you are based? Mer Liquify :: Collaborations :: Elle DecorI am a british multi media artist who moved to Capetown in 2002 (and I still work on projects in London, Europe and San Francisco). My career until then consisted of a solo and then collaborative artist (0rphan Drift), whilst teaching on various Fine Art BA courses in and around London, most notably Goldsmiths and Central St Martins. I co-created the collaborative artist 0rphan Drift in London with 3 other women in 1994. I have participated internationally in two decades of exhibitions, installations, screenings and performance as part of 0D, exhibiting extensively in the UK, Europe, Canada and the States, including at the Cabinet Gallery and Tate Modern.

Since moving to Capetown, I have been producing experimental video, collage and paintings. I collaborated with Casamento on the exhibition 'Another Dimension' earlier this year and since meeting Chloe nearly a decade ago, am enjoying a growing relationship with designers and creators of unique objects that are inspiring my art production in new ways. And now I am knitting a collection of outrageous spidery shawls.

My artwork is produced from a fusion of photographs, digital images, paint materials and video, a body of work that embraces evolutionary fever dreams and future possible mutations. There are art history references, particularly Surrealism; the dense organic beauty of Baroque, Mayan and Balinese sculpture and the weightless perspectives of the early Renaissance. The work also samples Haute Couture excess, Hollywood and literary scifi, global warming, deep space cosmology, San and Xhosa mythologies and Capetown's turbulent oceans. I celebrate a dissolution of boundaries between primitive and modern, organism and machine, past and future, fictive and factual, recycled and high-tech.

Why do I do it? It's how I communicate what I'm passionate about, what I feel matters for us as a species with a future on this beautiful planet.

What are you working on at the moment? Any plans, etc we should know about I am excited about several projects. I'm working on a video animation with a longterm collaborator, Ranu Mukherjee in San Francisco, with Kode9 in London doing the soundscape. I'm completing a series of paintings and collages on paper that are linked to the future city fictions of the video piece. I'm applying for funding for a residency to make a video for full dome planetarium projection.

All these projects involve some floral intensity! And I hope to visit both Shanghai and the Antarctic on image research missions.

Tell us about the concept you decided on for your installation The floral explosion, he gorgeous excesses of the gold, the flower bags and floral bomb backdrop are Chloe's idea, so over to her on the concept. For my part, I first produced the collages as the colours and floral ocean theme to be made into a hanging web of origami shapes, place mats and framed artworks, decorating Chloe's wedding venue in april this year. We knew we would take them further in a Missibaba context, because they proved to be an incredibly beautiful success!

How does your work complement each other? We meet in a love of luscious intense colour and organic creative flow.

For me, it's so exciting to have my intense and painstakingly made photo/photoshopped collages transformed into 3D shapes and patterns by Missibaba's visionary Chloe Townsend. We share a propensity for complex and challenging installation projects, where massive time and energy are harnessed to produce an unusual immersive glorious moment! We all enjoy working out how to resolve tricky practical issues together - a hive mind of amazing women all contributed essential elements to this floral explosion. Within the theme, the bags themselves, the paper flowers and floral collage shards, all enhance each others' presence and effect.

Your favourite local plant? The most gothic orange pink proteas. Fynbos generally captivates me.

Your Spring indulgence? I hope to experience life beneath the waves.

Top colour this spring? Interference Blue sheens.