Richmond: 101 visual and sound fragments

Richmond: 101 visual and sound fragments

Emma Willemse and Michael Blake

A project in progress

Based on a residency at MAPSA, Richmond, Northern Cape, South Africa

Access the multimedia project entitled 'Richmond Loop' here

The New Music composer Michael Blake and the conceptual artist Emma Willemse visited Modern Art Projects South Africa in Richmond for a 14 days residency in October 2021. The aim was to share their existing collaborative work with MAPSA and the community of Richmond. To this end an exhibition, a performance and workshops were presented.

Emma Willemse demonstrating her artist's books to children of Richmond

In addition, Michael and Emma explored ways to extend their existing collaboration. For the creative work at the residency, they set themselves the task of collecting at least 10 visual and sound fragments each day during their walks through the town. Michael collected sounds from the area with his Zoom recorder while Emma collected visual fragments of overlooked details with her cell-phone camera. They consider these recordings as site-specific data which speaks of a place called Richmond in the Karoo. Each collected fragment was catalogued according to date and time, as well as located on a map of Richmond. 


A selection of 101 of these visual and sound data records will be compiled into a collaborative new artwork. The number 101 is indicative of infinity, as in the saying: ‘I still have a hundred and one things to explore…’. In this sense, both artists feel that the combined artwork will represent a segment of the layers of life in Richmond.

The work 'Richmond: 101 visual and sound fragments' is in progress. Shown below is a sample of visual data collected from the local Richmond Museum.