Spier is now home to Emma Willemse’s Disrupt II art exhibition and it’s free!

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Spier is now home to Disrupt II, an exhibition featuring the works of Emma Willemse, exhibited at the 1:54 contemporary African art fair in 2018, which were brought back to South Africa by Spier Arts Trust for display on national soil .

Disrupt II focuses on a series of new works, dealing with the theme of disruption, evoking the zeitgeist of our times. The installation includes a selection from the artist’s series of 101 handmade artist’s books, titled “101 Ways to Dream of Home”, seeks to overturn the traditional notion of linear storytelling based on words.

It employs fragmented visual language and relies on the multi-layered meanings generated by found material. The discarded parquet blocks featured in the complex construction of the books and objects come from Woodstock in Cape Town, where a process of gentrification is driving the demolition of old homes and buildings.

“The displacement of a ‘home’ is a theme that echoes in a number of works and naturally ties in perfectly with his new material: reclaimed parquet,” says art writer Mary Corrigall. “This disused material obviously evokes a ‘house’ but also the history of a place and the movements that leave their mark there. Floorboards are perhaps an unsung archive of human movement that alludes to the multiple stories and experiences that are very subtly embedded in its surface.

The covers of the books, she adds, “are the repositories of daily experiences on the outside, while on the inside they contain the magic nuggets, which can be bold cutouts that pop or very fine designs which gradually unfold through an accordion of pages.”

Emma Willemse is a conceptual artist and art educator who lives and works in Riebeek Kasteel, in the Swartland region of the Western Cape. Her artistic practice deals with questions of displacement, place-making and sense of place. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of South Africa and qualifications in Psychology and Library Science. His works are technically varied and include sculptural installations, prints, artist’s books, painting and drawing.

Emma has exhibited extensively in South Africa, Africa and abroad, and her works have been included in the Art Bank Joburg, Nando’s Collection, South African Embassy in Beijing and the Spier Collection.

Her award-winning artist book installation, consisting of 101 handmade books, has been exhibited in various configurations in Stellenbosch and Johannesburg, South Africa; Florence, Italy; Paris, France; London, UK; and at the Dak’Art Biennial in Senegal.

Disrupt II is an interactive exhibition: visitors are invited to explore each book on display – there are plenty of tantalizing surprises to discover as they flip through their pages. The exhibition is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Friday, April 22, 2022 in the former Spier wine cellar and is free to the public.

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