In conversation with: LWANDO DLAMINI
We’re thrilled to announce the most recent addition to FIELDS’ collection of artist collaboration pieces with Lwando Dlamini. A visual artist who works between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Lwando’s artworks unpack subject matters surrounding the sensibility and vulnerability of the human body - giving strong reference to the ability of individuals to emerge triumphantly from adversity.
Lwando’s piece for FIELDS entitled ‘Triumph’, showcases a group of friends, connected as they succeed in their journey. In this post, we ask Lwando a few questions surrounding FIELDS collaboration with him, where he finds inspiration and his process when creating a piece of art. Continue reading to find out more.
FIELDS: How did the collaboration with FIELDS come about?
LD: Mikael Hanan, director of FIELDS approached me.
FIELDS: What were the things to consider when creating for a garment that’s to be worn, as opposed to any of the more “traditional” surfaces?
LD: To me it had to represent hope, happiness, and what better way to do that than
vibrant energetic colours.
FIELDS: How does this collaboration differ from some of the others you’ve done?
LD: This was my first ”official‟ collaboration. I have always just done my art, experimented and focused on developing my practice and healing myself (and only myself) through my art making. So I guess my art at that time was very personal and only for me.
FIELDS: Take us through the process of creating this particular piece?
I come from a dark and super depressed background of always being
subjected to violence; bullied throughout primary school; prolonged coma at
the age of ten, and as a result, completely paralysed and had to relearn
everything from the beginning. At the age of twenty, I was attacked by corrupt South
African police for no reason; left for dead and was in a coma again for
approximately 3 weeks, permanently damaging my left eye and leaving me
with long lasting effects of memory loss. I come from that background, and I think, in my past, I spent a lot of time in the darkness of my life. But! Today, where I am today - all I want is to be content, jubilant and bright colours bring all of that to me.
In addition, and particularly at the time I was doing this project, we were at the
peak of a global pandemic. Thus, I titled the piece ‘Triumph’ because I was
speaking to myself but also, at the same time, to the broader collective of the
FIELDS: How did you interpret the fundamental message of the collection
LD: We all go through so many challenges in life, we make many mistakes and our
voices/+art is not always as appreciated as we wish. Therefore, my motto right
through this process was “when it‟s your turn, go crazy!”
FIELDS: Is there a part that you particularly enjoy when working on a creative brief?
LD: I love it when the brief gives me freedom and asks me to do me!
FIELDS: What do you hope the wearer feels when putting your work on their
LD: I wish for them to get a sense of hope, pride and most importantly happiness.
FIELDS: The idea of fashion being “wearable art” has long been debated, what are your thoughts about it?
I first think art/fashion is made for decoration, we buy art works to decorate. To
me, it makes sense for it to be wearable too, because you want to look
presentable. And besides there are many other international established artists
doing the same.
FIELDS: Your piece for FIELDS depicts a group of friends before a hill. What were you hoping to communicate with this image?
LD: Refusal, resistance and ultimately, triumph.
FIELDS: When investing in a piece of clothing, what is important to you?
LD: Quality over quantity.