Emma Willemse – Rupture
noun: the state of being broken
In my continued investigation into the aftermath of the loss of a home, I am interested in how the boat, as a means of displacement, can be a metaphor for this traumatic experience. The works in Rupture refer to the boat in various ways.
The text and visuals in the series of collagraph prints, hand coloured with pigments from Marocco, suggest a narrative of circular complicity in the displacement construct; while, in the suspended installation Suture, there is evidence of failed attempts to stitch the torn fabric covering the boat skeleton together again, as if suturing a wound. This is in vain: the boat is rendered impotent through its brokenness.
The installation Boat Books is part of a project to construct 101 hand-made artist’s books which took five years to complete. In this series, called 101ways to long for a home, the cover pages are all constructed from wooden parquet floor blocks uprooted from homes in Woodstock, Cape Town. The floor blocks are direct references to the countless floors of many homes that do not exist anymore.
I consider the works in Rupture as texts that (partially) excavate the indelible wounds left on the psyche of the displaced. – Emma Willemse
Through her works executed in a diverse range of techniques and material, the South African artist Emma Willemse interrogates issues of loss and trauma, and how these interlink with place, memory and identity. Willemse has exhibited extensively in South Africa and abroad, including London, Dakar, Grenchen (Switzerland), Florence and a solo exhibition in Paris. She holds a Masters in Visual Arts and qualifications in Psychology and Librarianship. In addition to her artistic practice, she works as a lecturer and curator and adjudicates in prominent art competitions.
Spier Arts Trust
25 Commercial Street
Cape Town 8001
Tel: +27 (0) 21 461 2679