This is our first collaboration with an artist/designer, in line with our commitment to issues of body positivity and mental health.
This collection has been made from blue pottery, by a single artist- Lyla Freechild. The process of blue pottery is a very rigorous one, involving a lot of steps and patient loving. So, we dedicated the collection to her great grandmother, who she has never seen but also been inspired by, listening just to stories of her. Khillo Bai, was a survivor of the partition, a strong woman who had lost a lot and yet managed to maintain her lightness and joy. Anyone who talks of her has a smile on their face, thinking of her clownish ways with kids and compassion with each one.
Each of these pieces is one of a kind, coming from her larger body of work on gender, body and sexuality- I am nature.The pieces in these collection, despite delving into the deepest pains and fears accompanying the creative life of a woman in our context, have that same lightness and joy. Her work explores issues of body image and menstruation in great detail. It might be interesting to note that the terms hysteric and hysteria come from Origin
mid 17th century (aslk an adjective): via Latin from Greek husterikos ‘of the womb’, from hustera ‘womb’ (hysteria being thought to be specific to women and associated with the womb).
We are mostly unaware how gender biases are deeply rooted in our very language and thought process. Women are stereotyped as dramatic, as excessive, as those who feel or say or do too much, as hysteric. Historically,such a representation has led to creating grounds for thinking of women as dangerous or stupid creatures in need of protection and control. A lot of these images of women were formulated as a means to control their sexuality, as means to exert power and keep a check on the patriarchal lineage. The kind of work that artists like Lyla do are a direct intervention in the imbalanced social narratives that we have been existing with, which are also at the heart of a lot of violence and inequality in the society.
Our model for this collection, Erum, is a poet, healer and social worker. Constantly striving to find her own identity and true voice, there is something madly playful about her. Erum has a strong identification with nature, trying constantly to work towards recycling, reusing, being connected to all that is nature. A lot of her work in on healing and emotions catharsis, especially related to women. Like Lyla Freechild, the maker of this collection who has renamed herself 3 years back, Erum too renamed had herself Atmiye a year back. Unknown of each others’ existence, these two women have been doing all that makes them unique, stepping beyond the boundaries of caste, creed and religion.