margaret roberts

Margaret Roberts

member of the Williams River Valley Artists’ Project

lives and works in Sydney

Link to artist website


Margaret Roberts – foreground

works in exhibition:

ISDS 2015


100cm x 100cm



each 100cm x 100cm

catalogue text:

Our WRVAP enthusiasm about art and environmental activism has always been shadowed by doubt about how much art can ever influence public opinion. This is why our trips to Maules Creek were so good. We went there to learn how environmental activists were using non-violent direct action to stop Whitehaven’s destruction of the Leard State Forest. We came away enthused and impressed by their hospitality, ingenuity and courage.

We realised that their direct actions are also artwork-performances but with a difference. They are specific David and Goliath actions that are performances based on the understanding that even very small and apparently token actions are still worth doing because they might infect other people to reflect on whatever is going on. They seem to take for granted that actions by many people are needed to build a social movement in which caring for the planet becomes part of our everyday vocabulary.

These Maules Creek trips helped us to focus our own project as a form of collective witnessing and commentary on the environmental activism produced by coal and CSG mining. Because this activism was so obviously a demand for the actual participation in decision-making that is assumed to be a basic premise of any modern society, we devised a work for Cementa15 in Kandos centred on the activist lock-ons as Instruments of Democracy.

Margaret Roberts

Rome 2016