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Soulfulness and harmonizing the whole is the essence of art

Chiwoniso Maraire

As an artist I seek to tap into the deeper emotion and stimulate the tantric resonance.

Art in a great many ways is something that comes from the soul and it is expressed through transferring its feel and connection with the audience.

This explains the phrase that I have coined “the sacramentalisation of art”, which is the expression of art from the within in the without.

Art is a form of nourishment of the consciousness of the spirit as it is something that holds the promise of an inner wholeness.

That is why I always write of the importance of art as a therapeutic tool as it brings the fruition of the whole.

Art is therefore an internal necessity for everyone, our everyday life is made possible by the power of art and that of artistes who brighten it and also bring a difference.

Every artiste is driven to create an art work with an impulse, which can trigger the audience to admire art as a spiritual hunger.

In the power of its edutaining effect, art is thus a spiritual antidote to the values of materialism, which in a great many times have led to the creation of unsustainable art which loses its potency and quality.

Art is something that has to be driven by an inner emotional infectiousness which remains the true measure of art.

In this case, artworks need to create a thrill in the spectator as there has to be a characteristic harmony between the artiste and the spectator.

An artiste needs to have the element of soul, which is something that accentuates their expression of the creative prowess in them.

The soul in the art also enhances the acceptance of the message from the audience.

To have soul as an artiste means that one must be able to trigger emotion and a response from the audience.

Imagine if an artiste were to use the concept of soul and deeper feeling in music for example, to speak of a deep message such as one addressing gender-based violence; the message would have a deeper impact and expressivity attached to it.

The power of soul is a deeply needed resonance, which has to characterise every artist.

I will give reference to the music by the late Dr. Oliver Mutukudzi and Chiwoniso Maraire which had soul and a deep essence which ultimately transcended into their messages.

As a dreadlocked man, I also love reggae music, and some of the artistes in reggae that have used soul in their music with an edutainment focus have been Empress Dezarie, Chronix and Midnite.

In Afro-jazz, artistes like Salif Keita, Habib Koite, Rokia Traore, Oumou Sangare and Angelique Kidjo are some global names from Africa whose art is very soulful and full of messages.

 The feeling in a piece of art has to communicate with the deeper soul which is the essence of the being.

It has to open the mind to a deeper reality which pushes towards plausible development outcomes.

The essence of soul is the embodiment of originality in the art which is what the audience seeks to see and feel. Originality creates an art work of value which can also benefit the artist in question.

To harmonise the whole to create a healthy being is the task of every artiste. We live in a world where many people are in need of hope, love, compassion and strengthening.

We live in a society which is ravaged by the prevalence of misinformation, which has been exacerbated by the crisis of the weak internet culture.

The notion of art for just the sake of doing art in a quest for opportunism like what we are witnessing is the neglect of the inner meaning unto which true art is attached to.

I lament the sad and ominous commoditisation of art as a thing to transact around for purchase, to own and display rather than it being a beautiful experience to have.

In its edutainment effect, art is an experience and a feeling. Art has to stimulate thought of a productive nature.

I like how many young people are now becoming aware of issues regarding spirituality.  Social media is now awash with stories of Sangomas (traditional healers) with swag and self-proclaimed Prophets with swag now turning into celebrities and artists. What I can attest is that the spiritual life to which the art belongs, and of which art is driven by is complicated but definite.

What I can say is that the art of discernment is a necessity; it is requisite and is a driving force which we need to put into everyday practicality.

The spirituality in art is the movement of experience which is congruent with a depth of the message attached to it. It is an experience that may take different forms, but it holds at the bottom to the same inner thought and purpose.

In my art, I seek to express the deeper within; hence I indulge in experimental abstract art. This is congruent with taking time to also curate and think of a message, and how it can impact on the listener.

For the audience, the soulfulness of art goes beyond seeking the art of perfection; it is about seeking the deeper meaning behind the art piece.

For the artist, it is about putting soul and feeling in art so that the result of the artistic curation is soulful, and its depth and message can be felt by the audience.

Raymond Millagre Langa is a musician, poet, writer, orator and founder of Indebo Edutainment Trust.  Follow Raymond Millagre Langa on Facebook, Instagram @Millagre Ray L.  Email Raymond Millagre Langa on indeboedutainmenttrust@gmail.com and millagrepapaito@gmail.com

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