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The in-situ installations of Emma van Roey are made of sand and wire. Her images affect and strike us. Emma makes images that slip and get away while we observe them and that confront us with our own ‘condition humaine’.  As well monumentally with a fist raised in the open space, as tiny and poetically clamped to a wall.

The images consist of wooden boards, thin wire and sand, trying to keep each other together. They exist in the moment.

Emma’s images are attempts to wrap and hold what one cannot wrap and hold. Time intervenes yet during the making, but Emma goes on until that one intended image exists for a moment. Then she leaves it to time and decay. The lost image lays on the ground as loose sand, calling the viewer and raising questions.

For one so young, it’s rare to see images able to go that deep. And the maker must have gone deep in herself to achieve this.

Emma makes vulnerability and our own mortality visible, an emotional experience.

Emma Van Roey creates spatial installations that force us to reflect on our time in life. She tries to represent vulnerability by applying tactile acts.


Written by Carina Diepens – free translation

My fascination for time and my attempts to get a grip on it come from my incapability to adapt to the contemporary Western concept of time.  The present is a phase in the evolution from the past to the future, an interval in which everything is questioned. By requestioning, rethinking and reformulating our plans we feel  'here and now' as an uncertain, undetermined time. The secure past becomes doubtful, the future is a unsure. The result is a reduction inherent in contemporary thinking.  

The present, that period of uncertainty, is something I try to lay my hands on in an obsessive, tactile way with unproductive, wasted, excessive time, activities that do not lead to the creation of any durable project. By doing this I can protect the materials which can’t be detained. I hold on to a repetition in my act and work that eventually even can sufficate the detainable. 

I consider the time I spend with my materials as a material itself.  I play with time. My work reflects how I handled it, thus reaching it’s final appearance.

With my installations I ask myself  if it is possible to step out of this creation without imposing changes to the world.  'My' world in relation to 'the' world.

I have a fascination with the tactile aspect of textile. For me, textile is like a second skin that enables me to feel situations in a sensitive way.

It's a manner of  perceiving the world. It’s my manner of perceiving the world.

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