Nyasha Madamombe is one of the most unique artists to emerge from Africa. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York. A boundary-breaking interdisciplinary artist, Nyasha combines tradition and technology to tell the untold story of the collective African experience. This ability to move between disciplines allows her to examine and spotlight issues related to collective memory, tradition, the spiritual and the modern with flexibility. Nyasha’s work has been exhibited internationally, including at the National Art Gallery in the Zimbabwean capital Harare, in Johannesburg, Tennessee, Louisiana and Michigan to wide acclaim. She is a recipient of the 2020 Artaxis Fellowship and the 2021 NCECA Multicultural Fellowship. Nyasha received her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and her Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in Stone Sculpture, at the Chinhoyi University of Technology in Zimbabwe..
My work investigates the essence of being. It explores my relationship with the present world, bound to the ancient African tradition of my ancestors. Ancestors who exist in rituals, stories, artifacts, spirit and through me. My experience of new worlds is intimately rooted in the African philosophy of Hunhu/Ubuntu, the essence of that which makes us human. The thread that binds the individual to the collective. It puts human connection at the center, by embracing a timeless truth that, “I am because we are, and because I am therefore we are".
My work speaks to the duality of existing between two disparate places, where I was born (Africa) and where I live (America). I exist, perpetually, in two parts. The world of object making allows me an expanded habitation at this beautiful and sometimes contradictory convergence. My art becomes an intimate process of transcending without negating my experience and that of others. The spiritual giving form to the corporeal. The ancient to the new.
I am interested in capturing an echo of the past through the presence of absence. What no longer exists in the physical, triumphs in the re-imagined.
On this journey, I am informed by oral histories passed down through generations and written narratives. These narratives, told by others often crowd out African voices. My art therefore seeks to reclaim the narrative and tell our untold histories to pave an authentic future. I give myself to the telling of African peoples’ collective pain and joy, struggle and triumph. I celebrate these complex, larger than life beings, remembering always, I am because of those who were before me.