Verb: The action of stitching together the edges of a wound or incision.
The suspended installation Suture is a continuation of Willemses’ investigation of the motif of the boat and the meanings it generates in the context of displacement. Having conducted an academic study on the effects of displacement on the psyche, she is interested in how the boat, as a means of displacement, can be a metaphor for the traumatic experience of loss. Traveling over water, which symbolises the unconscious, a boat has connotations of a safe container transporting the psyche over the treacherous waters of the unknown. However, the boats that Willemse is creating are all rendered impotent through their brokenness. This is also apparent in Suture, a skeleton covered partially with torn fabric. There is evidence of failed attempts to stitch the fabric together again, as if suturing a wound. Still, these efforts are in vain: the vessel will not be able to sail.
Conceptual artist Emma Willemse’s practice is technically varied and diverse – both in her roles within the art world (which include lecturer, curator and adjudicator) and in the range of intriguing disciplines she adopts in the execution of her ideas.
Spier Arts Trust
25 Commercial Street
Cape Town 8001
Tel: +27 (0) 21 461 2679