By Maria Nilsson

The Bush Woman Within Us All

Introducing our Artist's Capsule The Bush Woman By Filippa Edghill

An interview with Atmosea's muse, long-time friend, mama and artist Filippa to learn more about the depths of her practice and what it means to embrace the inner Bush Woman within us all...
1. Please introduce the concept/themes of the Bush Woman capsule.
For me Atmosea represents the wild woman. I see her run free in Maria - Atmosea's founder, and all the women who wear her brand. There is an embodied joy inside wild women that I wanted to capture. One day I was just sketching and this loose ink drawing of the Bush Woman came out and I thought it was so perfect for an Atmosea tee.

2. How has your own connection to your body and motherhood influenced your art?
It is everything to me. Body positivity and respect starts in my art and then seeps through into my personal relationship to my own body. Art inspires life and life inspires art. It's definitely easier for me though to start in the paintings and when I see what respect for the female form can do on the canvas I think I better follow suit and treat my own body with the same respect.

3. Tell us about your creative process…
My process is a mix between very controlled sketching.. testing.. researching, and then all of a sudden these happy accidents will happen that are unexpected and turn the whole process around. Mostly I have a very clear vision of what I am trying to make and my process is making the same thing over and over until it's perfect to me. But then a magic moment will happen where I am creating without any particular aim and something will just come out that is perfect just as it is. I am pretty sure the bush woman was a phone scribble on a piece of printer paper that I just scanned and sent to maria and then a whole little range of clothing came from that.

4. Have you experienced any challenges or surprises whilst exploring this theme?
There is always a slight surprise I find in portraying nudity, it's received so differently from person to person depending on their own relationship to the nude body, be it their own or others. Especially in a commercial setting this can be so sensitive. That is why I love making things with Atmosea because those barriers are nowhere to be found and that is so refreshing and inspiring.

5. In what ways does your art challenge traditional notions of femininity?
I think there are both nods to a very ancient sense of femininity and deviations away from it in my work. I love to try to depict the ways women have always been beautiful and strong and mysterious but also embrace this new modern sense that women have created for themselves in the lifetime of my own and recent generations. I think the ways we feel feminine are both timeless and temporary at the same time.

6. Can you talk about the materials and textures you’ve used to see this collection come 
to life?
The drawing is all about the simplicity of a free expression that happened in a quick moment. I did the drawing very fast and thought that's a nice posture and feeling. I tried to refine her and redraw it many times but in the end the drawing we used was that very first quick ink drawing. I love how it has come to life with this nostalgic puffy 90's ink which has brought some fun texture to the design.
7. What does community / femininity mean to you?
Community is such a big part of femininity I think. I notice it so much since becoming a mum. I used to surround myself with boys when I was younger because I felt they matched a sense of fun and adventure I struggled to find in the girls around me at the time. But as I've grown I realise those girls were just off on their own adventures and as we have found each other I see how the wolf pack of a group of women who adventure together is a whole other level of fun. And now more than ever, navigating motherhood which is a different adventure all together I need my community of women on the daily. 
8. What elements of your art resonate with the surf culture Atmosea represents?
I think inclusivity and fun is the biggest word that comes to mind. Surf culture can be arrogant and self absorbed but the energy of the Atmosea surf community is fun, a concept I feel has been put in the backseat of the surfing world. Surfing is playing! I lived in a few different surfy towns in my life and eventually I always discovered this pressure of a certain status that needed to be acquired through your surfing. Each spot had its own special brand of how you were valued as a surfer. Northern california was all about the size of waves you surfed. Biarritz surf scene put focus on what brand of wetsuit you wore or who shaped your longboard for you. It became a fashion show to get in the water. Community did not flourish because the scene was more competitive than inspiring. But then I moved to Byron and was lucky enough to find this fun crew of girls who all surfed together no matter their different levels or motivations. It took a pressure off surfing and I rediscovered this sense of fun I used to have when I first learned how to surf as a young girl. It's easy to lose track of why you start doing something and I think this inspires me to remind myself to bring the sense of fun into my art as well. Since it has become a profession in adult age I can often get stuck in perfectionism or self criticism so even in writing this I am reminded how important it is to keep having fun with something. Art is playing just as much as surfing is.

9. Favourite thing you’re loving at the moment!
I recently got a new camera and this has been a little obsession to dive into that I can bring along with me everywhere and make art in the small in-between moments which is where most of my art seems to be made these days of being a toddler mum.

10. If you could sum up your art in 3 words…
Feminine, soft and lucid.

11. What are you working on at the moment? Any exciting new projects to come?

I am currently working on a few different projects. The biggest being growing a second baby in my belly and then that has sort of fuelled this urgency of finishing a few other projects that have slowly lingered since making my first baby a couple of years ago. Things come slowly in this season of life. But I have two exhibitions all ready to be shared with the world and I am just in the stages of planning their own presentations and celebrations that I think they deserve after such a long time in the making. So we will see which of these projects will come out first but I am hoping perhaps the art projects make it out before the baby so they don't have to wait another few years for their turn ;) Either way it's all very exciting and inspiring in their own special ways.

Filippa is putting on a art show in Newrybar at the @theoldpacific on the 17th of July // A show of cyanotypes, a hymn for the blue within 💙