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Edgewise: Garments of Artemis

© Copyright Alessandra Kelley

These garments are part of "Second Sights: The Art of Presence", an ongoing project.

"Second Sights" takes inspiration from the classical Greek gods to spur thought and expand our culture's ideas of human beauty and clothing.

These garments offer thoughts about the movement of the human form.

The project blends panel painting, clothing design and construction, and textile painting. Each god addressed in the "Second Sights" project has a painting and an outfit, sometimes more than one.

Artemis is the Greek god of the hunt, of borders between civilization and the wild, of children and childbirth and women. She has a pack of hounds, and the cyprus and the guinea-fowl are sacred to her. The Romans called her Diana.

Artemis' garments are practical and subversive. Handsewn almost entirely of soft cotton jersy with a single satin sleeve and leather cuff, they are sensible forms for moving through the forest and patrolling the borders.

Their shape also references modern women's garments in a wry fashion, as the resonances between stockings and leggings, garters and belts and quivers of arrows plays out on the garments.

a woman in the artemis garments
a screaming man's face hidden inside a deer painted on the front of the top

One of Artemis' most famous myths tells of Aktaeon, the proud hunter who violated her sacred mountain to see her naked and was turned into a deer and devoured by his own hounds.

the sleeve, the back, and theback with leggings

The top is painted with ghostly dogs in a stream running around and up the right arm, over the shoulder and spiraling into a full moon painted in iridescent pigments.

The leggings are painted on the back waistline with an ocean which combines with the top to form an image.

A painting of a dark-haired woman in the artemis garments on board a ship, the moon reflecting a path to her and the ocean rising bhind her raised hand

Click here to see the accompanying painting.

Click here for the project gallery.