Widening Circles      


Seven women. A farmer and chef; a metalsmith and fiber artist; a filmmaker and mystic; an herbalist and gardener; a writer-musician; a historian and dressmaker; a traveler and designer of eyewear. Wrapped in the like-minded spirit of Milena Silvano Autumn/Winter 2021, seven women reflect on circles, cycles and circularity. At home in wildly different worlds, they share an ethos: lives of intention, reverence, and a fierce commitment to sustainability.

Stories end, only to begin again. Life comes together with the pieces at hand, forming a pattern all its own. The women in these stories ride the phases of life like the most feminine of circles, the moon. Ebb and flow. Rewilding female spaces. Engaging in eco-feminism, whether on the earth, on the page, or with their hands, their naked bodies. Reclaiming lost parts, gleaning new life from lands within and without. They are dreaming up future heirlooms: reimagined acreage, ever-changing shapes, hard-won mantras to pass on like a beloved coat or dress. While sustainability is an all-encompassing practice, it can be broken down to daily ritual: rootedness in place; a life in balance; a return to nature, and the absolute need for less.

Circles open, then close. Only to open again, forming unexpected loops. “Community,” Mimi Beaven shares in her story, “is a feeling.” Affinities, friendships, expand and contract. Women have always sat in circle, in deep listening. They share what entrances them – the rising of bread; a drum’s vibration. The search for Fra Angelico blue. Drawing wire from scrap; memories of the Japanese alps. Moments of transcendence — alone, together, naked, intertwined. Stalking the circles that obsess them: the breast, labyrinths, ocular frames. Seasons, the coming harvest. Variations on form, a sleeve, a song. Much like the iconic Milena Silvano moon or yin and yang, these beloved circles – and their deep meanings – are always evolving, endlessly giving.


Seven women share the wisdom of life right now; lives that have sequenced out; and the dreams of life to come. A mystical meditation on circles, cycles, circularity. Mimi, Erin, Kat, Anja, Alexa, Sarah Jean and Eva for Milena Silvano Autumn/Winter 2021.




Photography:
Valeda Beach Stull


Words:
Alexa Wilding




The Women:
Alexa Wilding
Anja Schwartz Rothe
Erin Considine
Eva Masaki Soroken
Kat Hunt
Mimi Beaven
Sarah Jean Culbreth