Ophelia wears the Pebbles top and Utility skirt.

Ophelia wears the Pebbles top and Utility skirt.

Sylvester Sessions #90

Ophelia Mikkelson

Tairua, New Zealand.
Ophelia wears Pebbles Top and Utility Skirt.

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 Marley Stripe Top and Parachute Wide Leg Pant.

Sylvester Sessions #89

Chelsea Jade

Los Angeles, United States.
Chelsea wears Marley Stripe Top and Parachute Wide Leg Pant.

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 Trackie Jacket and Trackies.

Bonnie wears Trackie Jacket and Trackies.

Sylvester Sessions #88

Bonnie Wroe

Illustrator, Welcome to Babeville
Wellington, New Zealand.
Bonnie wears Trackie Jacket and Trackies.

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.