The Stone Circle Project
By Emma Willemse and The Arteri
Site specific public installation
In and around the Royal Arts Town Amphitheatre, Riebeek Kasteel
August 2020 to November 2022
Access the catalogue: The Making of the Stone Circle Project
The site-specific sculptural installations collectively known as 'The Stone Circle Project' were conceived by the artist Emma Willemse in the last week of June 2020, while she was isolating due to being infected with Covid-19. She relates her intense focus on conceptualising the project as a time of potential hope for renewal, and ultimately a revival of the arts in the community of the Riebeek Valley, where she lives and works.
'The Stone Circle Project' was commissioned by Arts Town Riebeek Valley as part of their Revive! Public Sculpture project to create awareness of the Riebeek Valley as a cultural destination. Together with the 'Performing Arts Project', which hosted two summer season theatre performances during the life span of The Stone Circle Project, the two initiatives activated a previously disused open-air amphitheatre, situated at the iconic Royal Hotel in Riebeek Kasteel. The synergy between the two projects were extended in the pursuit of their mutual goals to provide a platform for skills transference, community participation and job creation amongst artists, performers and other creatives.
The Stone Circle Project consisted of two components, a sculptural installation called The Boat Circle, as well as a community collaborative called The Amphi Circles.
The Boat Circle was situated adjacent to the amphitheatre and entailed a labyrinth constructed with white pebbles, leading to a found boat filled with stones. Viewers could participate in this work by walking the path and placing their own stones into the boat as a symbolic memorial act. This ritual was experienced as a unique remembrance performed individually yet was visually part of a collective mass of stones.