Ophelia wears the Pebbles top and Utility skirt.

Ophelia wears the Pebbles top and Utility skirt.

Sylvester Sessions #90

Ophelia Mikkelson

Tairua, New Zealand

You live in Tairua, a small town by the sea, what let you there, and what does it mean to be close to the ocean?

Love of the heart and love of the ocean! My husband, Ryder, has lived in Tairua since he was ten so after we finished our Masters a few years ago we started renting our little house on the beach. It is really important for us both to be near the ocean, to live simply, and to be able to work on our art practises and creative projects full time. 

Tell us about your wardrobe, what draws you to clothing, any particular textures, colours, fabrics?

Most of my clothes are green! It’s been my favourite colour for as long as I can remember and I love wearing it. Sometimes I leave the house and its not until I catch my reflection far from home that I realise I look like a green bean! All the clothes I own and buy are made form natural materials. I think it is really important to eliminate synthetic materials from our wardrobes, and even more so from our day-to-day lives. Its makes shopping super easy, say if I see something I’m not quite sure about and check the label, and its half polyester I can happily walk away from it. 


Chelsea wears the Stripey Knit Polo.

Chelsea wears the Stripey Knit Polo.

Sylvester Sessions #89

Chelsea Jade

Los Angeles, United States.

Has living in LA merged into your song-writing and practice?

I don’t feel lethargy here and I think you can hear it in my work. I don’t have any qualms about not ‘belonging’ and that has liberated me across the board. 

We enjoyed your recent show at Wondergarden, tell us about the movement aspect of the show and how this has developed.

I’ve wanted to formalise my physical impulses for so long. I walk home from friend’s houses listening to my songs both restraining and indulging in my own twitches. When I’m alone in supermarket aisles I give in a bit. Finally with some encouragement from the girls I get to have onstage with me, I started implementing the choreography I had always imagined. They let me know they were game and now I get to explore the possibilities. I love small movement that erupts when synchronised. When the common gesture is given a pattern to follow.    


Bonnie wears Marley Stripe Dress and Confetti Jumper.

Sylvester Sessions #88

Bonnie Wroe

Illustrator, Welcome to Babeville
Wellington, New Zealand.

Your illustrations are so detailed and delicate, tell us about your process.

To get such intricate detail I need to draw from a photo, so my process usually starts with roping my friends into recreating some weirdly specific image in my mind so I can photograph it. I start by laying down the entire outline of the drawing, then gradually fill it in with colour - generally starting with a face and spreading outwards from there. I have a tin of 135 different coloured pencils, and each time I start a different element of the drawing - say, skin - I pick up to 20 different colours to make up the tone I'm after. Skin is composed of so many different colours, and different tones of colours - lilac, cream, rose pink, red, navy blue etc. so to recreate realistic looking skin I need to blend all these colours together seamlessly. My drawings are made up of endless amounts of tiny marks, all layered and blended together to create a smooth surface. It's a slow process, but as it's quite an intuitive thing for me I can kind of zone out and achieve a real sense of peace while doing it - it becomes almost meditative.  

Have you always illustrated in this style, or has it developed over time?

I've always drawn somewhat realistically (or at least attempted to!) but my technique has definitely improved over the years, and most significantly in the last few years. I think being outside of art school and not having any specific deadlines has really given me time to, well, take my time. I haven't had to rush anything. I can practice drawing skin, practice drawing hair - and figure out the best way to recreate these in pencil.  


Eliza wears Festival Dress.

Eliza wears Festival Dress.

Sylvester Sessions #87

Eliza Wexelman

Girls at Library
Los Angeles, United States.

Tell us about the community surrounding Girls at Library and how it started.

Girls at Library is an online destination for book lovers focused on telling stories of women and the role reading plays in their life. GAL hopes to inspire readers of all kinds with each in depth interview we post. Every single woman featured has a unique take on the ways in which reading has shaped their world, allowing the audience a glimpse into their remarkable inner worlds. This is a tried and true way to discover books that might help, inspire, or thrill you– and that's a huge goal of ours. From architects to artists to poets alike. It has also been really cool that even if the women don’t particularly at the time find themselves reading a lot, it’s the fact that they can relate so many impactful moments to reading. Proving the ability to either write or understand something through writing can be life changing.

The exciting thing about the community surrounding GAL is that it's filled with a variety of women from different walks of life who find commonalities in their passion for literature and creativity. And most importantly, finding inspiration in other women! We have been hosting events to bring people together such as dinners and books swaps but hope to soon expand to a book club and more ways to get involved. The people in this community around literature inspire us as much as the women we interview. Their intelligence and humour and general love for learning always leads us to new ideas, new books, and new authors. We really admire the diversity in perspective and potential for creating a bigger community. 

What are your favourite books to read on a stormy day?

Immediately when I think of a stormy day I think of Daphne Du Maurier’s, Rebecca