Two student midwives and best buddies share a passion for observing the body beautiful Textile designer Alanna Josie and ceramicist Georgia Casey of Artemis Ceramics possess a tale of female empowerment and friendship so intertwined with their creative magical it’d have been remiss to not feature them together. The two best friends are currently studying midwifery — a passion that’s ingrained in their art — and in their spare time they handle their own creative interests. Although their companies are run separately, they’re never far apart. Alanna resides down the street from Georgia and her accumulated hours of creating and studying in Georgia’s sunroom studio has made her an honorary house member.
The feminine form has played muse to both girls and their job, but their journey into midwifery has strengthened this bond even further. Their first collaboration, which will be released later this month, is the culmination of years working side by side.
When did you begin painting/textile design? I have always found patterns in odd areas; the textures of tiles, peeling wallpaper, or even the manner that the cement has discoloured. I have never been far from a paintbrush! The secret language I produce within my routine collections refers to a time, a location, an object, or a memory card that’s actually special to me. I can reflect on where I was and exactly what I had been thinking when I had been painting the item, only by looking at it. And yet it is remarkable that anybody can examine precisely the same painting and translate the paintings or patterns of body silhouettes through the lens of their experiences, impressions, and memories. There’s so much beauty in our individual interpretations of art.
You function in printing and hand painting — what inspires you to use each technique for a variety of pieces? The variability of these processes of linoprinting or hand-painting forces me to think otherwise about the consequent outcomes. Linoprinting requires removing the negative of what you want to print, and it matches my’Silhouettes’ set where the picture is often a bold form.
Why is it essential for you to celebrate the body and all of its glorious differences? Like many, I’ve had my history of harsh self-judgements and reflections of my physical self, and of course that is not the true depiction of our emotional and individual identities. But in saying that, no two bodies are the same, and there ought to be representation of this.
We should celebrate our unique amounts; if you are able to see your body being represented in artwork and social media, it can be very empowering.
What has been the answer to your’Silhouette’ collection? I frequently get messages from visitors to my website and Instagram that are so happy to see their body contours celebrated. People today wish to honour themselves and I am more than happy to support this act of self-love and appreciation.
Why did you wish to become a midwife? When I pictured myself as a midwife, it was just like I’d unlocked the holy grail — it was a sweet moment and it felt as though it was always supposed to be. In the deepest aspect of the being I want to enable anyone who goes through pregnancy and childbirth to comprehend the extraordinary capacities of their bodies. It’s a facing, romantic and one of a kind journey for everyone. It will be an absolute privilege to be invited into that sacred area.
There is a gorgeous connection between your midwifery studies along with your recent work’Silhouettes’, what exactly does this link mean to you and how can they inspire each other? I have not personally experienced pregnancy or birth, yet I just should scroll on the internet to be informed approaches to’bounce back’ in my postpartum body, feel concerned about stretch marks, or fear my body will neglect me in childbirth. This is not fine! Until I begin placements and work in partnership with individuals that are on their maternity journey, my art form is the next best way I will empower and promote a much deeper connection to the innate capabilities and complexities of our own bodies.
Is there a specific moment or memory card that stands out for you once you think of your work? I had a commission from a client who had two very hard pregnancies. She wanted a silhouette painted to represent her trip, representing an adventure she was not overly fond of, but had been pleased to have defeat. On request, the postpartum shape of her breasts has been specifically illustrated, representing her breastfeeding journey, which had been the most joyous part for her after all of the last challenges. To assist with someone’s want to learn how to respect their body was a truly lovely experience.
Your painting was the starting point for the Artemis logo — what’s the best thing about tinkering with a friend? Georgia is the most lively soul in my entire life, ” she inspires me in her strong boosting of friendships and lifting up of other women. The painting that Kate [a friend and Georgia’s flatmate who shot the photos with this story] used for the Artemis emblem was one I gifted Georgia when she finished her master’s thesis.
Collaborating with Georgia is over just two creatives working collectively; we all know each other so well and we have similar aspirations of empowering wāhine in our creative and professional careers.
Georgia Casey I began taking pottery courses in mid-2016, also it had been at Alanna’s suggestion! I was writing my master’s thesis and wanted an outlet to break up the long hours.
Pottery teaches you to be individual, which is great for me because I am not naturally the most patient person.
Where did the name Artemis come from? The title Artemis comes from Artemisia Gentileschi,a 17th-century Italian painter. Artemisia’s artwork often reflected the abuse she endured as a young girl, and she often transformed her injury in pictures of girls fighting back against the violation of the own bodies. I chose it until I started studying midwifery, it is funny how all these things intertwine in the 1 name.
What prompted you to make boob mugs? I picked up pottery while writing my thesis. The topic of my paper was that the early modern iconographic developments of the biblical bathers Susanna and Bathsheba, so I had feminine nudes on the mind. Soon after learning how to throw clay on the wheel, Alanna and I had been at my aunt’s home in the Waitākere Ranges, we sat out on the balcony, whipped off our shirts to sun ourselves and broke to a bag of clay to play . I proposed we sculpt some breasts onto a mug to get a laugh, but I became completely fixated. I kept making them, and friends wanted the mugs, then their friends desired the mugs. What started as me being silly finally became my livelihood.
How do you find Artemis helping to convey messages about body assurance? We have grown up in a society with these expectations and judgements across women’s bodies; overly sexualised, too big, too small, pressure to’bounce back’ after having a baby — you name it. Like so many women I’ve had problems with body image and creating boob mugs has aided in healing my own insecurities. It is quite cathartic and no two are the same, I just allow the clay in my hands dictate how they turn out. Any piece you get from me is completely unique and possesses its own energy.
What’s been the answer to your boob mugs? As someone who studied art for so many years, getting the manufacturer is a strange feeling. There’s so much meaning behind my mugs and the responses that I get from people are often quite private. I’m always particularly touched when a new mother requests a mug for her midwife as a present, or whenever someone buys one for their mother.
How do you juggle running Artemis and analyzing midwifery? I do not. I have great days where I feel like I’m nailing it, and awful times where I feel consumed whole by my workload and’m stricken with anxiety. I’m slowly learning what my limits are and how much I can handle. I’m really lucky to own Alanna; she’s about at my apartment a lot to research and she actually helps me stay on top of all things. My dear friend and flatmate Kate built my site, takes all my photos, and can be an incredible sounding board.
Why did you opt to be a midwife? I view my path into studying midwifery as a collection of occasions, not merely an isolated decision to get into research, and it is quite tied up in my pottery work. My boyfriend Micah encouraged me to pursue it, and once Alanna chose to retrain in midwifery, it sealed the deal for me personally. The best barrier I confronted was committing to the next four years in university and preparing to the fiscal challenges that come with being a pupil. That gave me the push I needed to establish Artemis.
Will there be any additional collaborations? Yes! We are working on something quite special, which We’re looking to release in late November