Image cred. Ode to Askana Visual Poem by Haus Of Stone
In the COVID aftermath, a personal truth crystallized: art thrives when untethered from commerce's chokehold. Few artists, particularly those living off their work, can afford the luxury of such a notion. To some, it's an unfathomable dream.
The concept bridges the gap between art for purpose and meaning and 'art for the art's sake."
- Théophile Gautier | French novelist & Journalist (1830).
For me, COVID became a launchpad into the world of textile art, specifically macrame. Free from the suffocating grip of consumerism and its relentless commercial pressure. It created a space for me to learn, experiment, and discover alternative creative approaches without limitations or the burden of needing it to be commercially acceptable. Fueled by the pandemic, my artistic exploration blossomed into a distinct design perspective that now infuses my indie fashion brand - Haus Of Stone. Liberated by this freedom of expression through textile art, I transform the unconventional and experimental into commercially viable pieces, which have added a new dimension to my work. A testament to the freedom of artistic exploration.
______ THE PREMISE
"... our culture is inherently spiritual. We are inherently spiritual. We are living organisms
of our traditions, existing as vessels and vehicles of its preservation & evolution."
- Thandi Gula | Visual Artist
Image cred. State of Fashion Solo Exhibition by Danayi Madondo - Experimental Textiles
My textile art exploration sparked a reflection on the very essence of my artistic expression. Can art be a spiritual/ sacred practice? Can the practice of art be a deep seated conversation with the Divine? Does a natural talent, honed skill, or whispered calling fuel the vessel of expression? Does the commercializing of art, a supposed embodiment of the spirit, present a fundamental obstacle to its authentic expression? Can making art in fact be an act of faith, a leap into the creative abyss, trusting the message will find its form through us or another vessel? These are but a few of the incessant questions I ask myself.
Embracing the role of co-creator, guided by a higher force, means trusting the gravitational pull, but the art world's insatiable appetite for intellectualizing everything has the ability to suffocate artistry, transforming it into controlled messaging, ripe for manipulation. As Jordan Peterson eloquently captured, 'art arises from the depths of our souls.' So, how can we reconcile this innate, spiritual source with the analytical gaze of intellect? How can we control these impulses that yearn to be set free, using logic & commerce to guide their emergence?
Though the answer remains elusive, one thing resonates with unwavering clarity. My art amplifies not just my own voice, but those that intertwine or vibrate in harmony with it. I create art to give form to the formless. Art has become a wellspring of personal well-being and a sacred inner sanctum.
“The urge to create and express my feelings through art feels as essential to me as the very air I breathe.”
Dive into the creative source of Danayi Madondo, fashion designer, textile artist, and visual storyteller from Harare, Zimbabwe. This CREATIVE MUSINGS vodcast unveils unfiltered insights you won't hear anywhere else about what drives her creative practice. Join us for a deep dive into her artistic conversations and follow + subscribe to Haus Of Stone (YouTube) for long-form videos exploring art, spiritual connections, and the sacred nature of artistic practice.
To all the creative wanderers!
Happy New Year! I've been taking a little quiet time to sort through the wild ride of last year which I desperately needed. It felt like being co-pilot on God's plane, witnessing His glorious hand and infinite potential in my life. It was a powerful reminder that where I saw limitations, He saw endless possibilities.
The magic of last year truly inspired me to take a slight detour with my platform Fashion Conversation (sometimes a blog, sometimes a vlog). This season under the banner of CREATIVE MUSINGS, I am going to focus primarily primarily on my own thoughts & processes. A myriad of thoughts, some jarring and wild, others seemingly out of touch or bordering on crazy, have run through my mind. Yet, even within this messy mix, I've always held onto the belief that these seemingly rejected thoughts hold the potential for transformative perspectives, nuanced conversations, and groundbreaking innovations in both thought and spirit.
In 2024, I'm embracing the wildness of my thoughts, creating what I hope will be a safe haven for them to evolve into whatever they're meant to be. I hope that someone out there in the vast virtual landscape will resonate with these ideas taking flight.
Image Cred. Masimba Tinashe Madondo of Haus Of Stone | Muses . Shamiso Thembo & Julian Tamuka
2024 marks the launch of a new creative wandering for me: a blog chronicling my "Creative Musings." Juggling the various demands amidst time constraints and numerous commitments – has been a balancing act. But as I enter my 10th decade as a working creative, I feel blessed to still be growing, learning & evolving on this journey called life. This year, i could no longer ignore the pull that i've been feeling towards document my own creative musings. i am a strong believer in archiving our existence in all it's dynamism & felt there was no better space to do so than right here as I share my thoughts and insights that have fueled me over my 10-year odyssey. My career has been a labyrinth, filled with twists and turns as I explored roles like project coordinator, stylist/image consultant, fashion designer, graphic designer, art director, curator, and countless others. If it involves art, I've likely dabbled in it or at least crossed its path. So, I invite you to join me in this season of: "CREATIVE MUSINGS: The Chronicles of a Fashion Creative." I almost called it "Surviving Fashion," but that might just become a future topic or series – a discussion that can wait for another day. #StayTuned.
Sometimes a podcast, sometimes a vodcast. For creative thinkers.
Launched: Friday 19 June 2020
For our inaugural season of CREATIVE MUSINGS, we invited our visionary minds to explore four socially relevant topics, ranging from local concerns to global issues within their creative fields. These thought-provoking themes - Thinking Sustainability, Inclusion in the Arts, Religion & the Arts, and Post-COVID: Fashion Futures - served as springboards for their insightful reflections. Dive into some of their MUSINGS below, and we hope you'll find a spark of inspiration to carry you through the year ahead.
Welcome back to CREATIVE MUSINGS! Dive into a critical conversation with our guest speaker, Dr. Pam Samasuwo-Nyawiri, the acclaimed Creative Director of Vanhu Vamwe. Today, Dr. Pam challenges us to confront uncomfortable truths in the fashion industry. She'll be dissecting concepts like false allyship, tokenism, and the obstacles faced by marginalized groups navigating the mainstream scene. Prepare to be inspired, enlightened, and empowered as Dr. Pam guides us towards building a more equitable and inclusive creative landscape.
Welcome back to CREATIVE MUSINGS! Buckle up for a journey of self-discovery with our guest speaker, Buhle Chinara, freelance content creator and host of the captivating new podcast "The Mirror Club." Today, Buhle dives into the power of self-reflection and truth-seeking, guiding us in transcending restrictive personal paradigms. Get ready to explore radical shifts in social values and envision new, sustainable realities as Buhle challenges creatives to reimagine and reshape the world through their work. This promises to be a transformative conversation that ignites our creative fire and rewrites the script for a brighter future.
Welcome back to CREATIVE MUSINGS! Today, we're delighted to have Thandi Gula-Ndebele, a multifaceted storyteller, join us for a thought-provoking discussion. Thandi will be delving into the fascinating concept of the "wellbeing economy," exploring its core principles rooted in mutual service and the overall well-being of our communities. Get ready to discover how this revolutionary economic model prioritizes human flourishing and environmental sustainability. Prepare to be inspired and challenged as Thandi sheds light on a future where collective care and shared prosperity take center stage!
Welcome back to CREATIVE MUSINGS! We're thrilled to have Tadiwa Rowan Sakarombe, a self-taught 21-year-old visual and fashion artist, join us for this thought-provoking session. Rowan will be delving into the intricate dance between sustainable design and the demands of today's consumers. He'll also be tackling the intriguing and sometimes contentious topic of "mabhero" – Zimbabwe's unique take on thrifting. Get ready for a vibrant discussion that challenges perspectives, ignites creativity, and sheds new light on conscious fashion choices.
Welcome back to CREATIVE MUSINGS! Get ready for a captivating exploration of sustainability with our guest speaker, Tina Mbachu, a powerhouse socio-cultural entrepreneur focused on economic impact. Today, Tina takes us on a journey through sustainable design and production, weaving in the vibrant threads of African collective material culture that inspire her work. We'll dive into crucial concepts like skills retention, economic empowerment, and cultural sustainability – all within the heart of our dynamic creative artisan communities. Prepare to be inspired, challenged, and ignited by Tina's insightful perspectives on building a greener and more equitable future through creative expression.