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Marisse Cato - The Alchemy of Heritage: An Afrological Sound Art Experience - Wandsworth Fringe Interview

In a series of interviews, we are chatting to artists involved with the 2024 Wandsworth Fringe. The Fringe Festival runs from 7th until 23rd June. 

In this interview, we chat with Marisse Cato about The Alchemy of Heritage: An Afrological Sound Art Experience which runs at 575 Wandsworth Road between 7th and 9th June.

Where did your arts career begin?
My desire to make art using sound has perhaps been an ongoing pursuit from childhood. I am a trained classical musician and composer. However, I suppose my official career having recently graduated from making art as a student begins now!

What can you tell me about your show?
The Alchemy of Heritage: An Afrological Sound Art Exhibition’ is a sound installation whereby art, sound, and heritage blend to celebrate the magic of Afrodiasporic culture. At historical National Trust property 575 Wandsworth Road, I explore artistic cultural connectivity and dis/re-placement in an increasingly globalised world.

Where did the idea for the show come from?
The sound installation responds to the variety of the Asalache’s culturally significant motifs: pictures of ballerinas, paintings of imagined savannas, Moorish inspired fretwork, a West African stool, murals of influential women in the bathroom. The sound acts as an expression of life, lived in its many different forms, to compliment and guide the eye through the space. Whilst art often stands within an environment, in this case the art is the environment, and that environment is a home. Sound is an essential expression of life in a home, and this immersive experience breathes life back into this uniquely beautiful space.

How do you prepare for a performance?
Luckily, I'm not "on stage" for this performance, so it's more a case of trying to ensure all the tech works. But working closely with the venue and lots of test runs is a large part of this.

What is the message of your show?
My show doesn't have a clear message as such. It's more so a space that invites people to contemplate the complexity of our cultural experiences. But I would say a full appreciation of the experience doesn't seek to simplify.

If you were a biscuit, what would you be and why?
This is technically a "sandwich cookie", but for this project I would say a macaron because it's so much more than the sum of its parts.

Can you describe the show in three words?
Genre-bending, immersive, thought-provoking

When can people see the show and follow the journey beyond?
The sound installation is running from the 7th until the 9th of June at National Trust Property 575 Wandsworth Road. People can book a slot to visit on the WAF website. You can keep up to date with behind the scenes content on my Instagram @marissecatomusic and explore more of my work on my website

You can find out more about the full programme of events at Wandsworth Fringe by visiting

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