Women in Fortnight: Tamara

Photo Series by: Kristina Dittmar

1. Who are you and what do you do?

I am a queer, Filipina x Arab multidisciplinary artist (@___solem) with a main focus on earth movement (pottery) and ceramics. I was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and moved to Canada at a young age due to political instabilities. The quick upheaval of my life from my childhood home heavily informs my work. I connect with the diaspora by commemorating textures, colours, shapes and imagery from Bilad al-Sham where my paternal family is from. I also infuse imagery of pre-colonial Filipino amulets to remember the magic from which we originated.

Throughout my kinesiology degree, I regularly made time to practice pottery with several different people in exchange for helping them with their studio tasks. For the most part, I was self-taught. Once I graduated, I realized that I had a responsibility to provide accessible pottery workshops that emphasized the process instead of outcome, as there is a scarcity of mentors in the city who teach the importance of clay as meditation; the body as the mind. I guide my students through the ceremony of moving earth to engage with all of the elements, and therefore, connection to spirit and self. I now mainly hold space for creating personal work, moving through different shapes and textures.

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2. What does feeling beautiful mean to you?

Feeling beautiful means truly, unapologetically giving myself the space to move in whichever way my spirit/mind/body is calling me to move that day. Somedays, I may want to move slowly and tenderly. Other days, I may move boldly and loudly. To me, feeling beautiful means encouraging the many ways in which my energy moves through time and space instead of imposing judgement upon it. When I feel this radical self-love and acceptance, I project it into everything and everyone around me which creates an environment where magic flows free, and feelings of tenderness, authenticity and beauty radiate out of and within me.

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Tamara is wearing our Olive Ivy Classic Bra in 32C and Ivy Seamless High Waist in Medium

 

3. What do you like to wear closest to your skin?

Other than my tattoos which all represent important people and moments of my life, I NEVER take my jewellery off (unless I am on the potter's wheel). My rings and cuffs collect the power that my hands harness through my creative process and are therefore spiritually charged. I carry the magic in my jewellery throughout my day when I am not working to protect myself. Along with my jewellery, I love wearing simple, practical lingerie underneath my work clothes that accompany the vulnerable moments during my morning self-care routine before dressing, and my nightly routine after taking off my clothes and clay.

 4. What do you wear to feel most like yourself?

I often wear the clothes that I create in. Tough canvas pants with tank tops are my go-to. I feel the most aligned with myself during Earth movement, and therefore, I feel the most aligned in the clothing that I wear during the ritual. I gravitate towards earth tones that emulate the clay that I work with- soft greys, white, terracotta, natural linen. Recently, I've been enjoying working with playful colours/illustrations in my works, which has made me gravitate towards playful colours like bright greens, oranges and reds.

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Tamara is wearing our Black Ivy Classic Seamless Bodysuit in Medium

 

5. When do you feel most confident?

I feel the most confident when I am around my studio mates/best friends while we are all working on our projects at the same time. With the constant flow and feedback of encouraging energy between all of us, I feel the most seen, heard, powerful and free. Similarly, I feel confident after hosting wholesome gatherings where I can witness others feeling the freedom to move wildly and vulnerably, such as live music events or earth movement workshops. I also feel the most confident when I am effectively able to honour and transmute feelings of sorrow into my ceramic work. Being able to hold a physical manifestation of my emotions in the form of a vessel reminds me that I am grounded and whole.

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Tamara is wearing our Nightshade Vega 3-Piece Bra in 32C and Vega Thong in Medium

 

6. What makes a place feel like home?

I am extremely mindful of how I arrange my sanctuaries in a way that reflects my practice. Every space in which I intend to create a home, I find nooks where I can recharge in the sunlight, be still and slow, and surround myself with textures/colours/smells/shapes that bring me to the same flow state that I reach through earth movement. I will build furniture and fixtures out of concrete that emulates the characteristics of clay. I am also mindful of the energies I invite into my home since even after guests leave, the magic and vibrations that they leave behind add to the nourishment of the space. When my surroundings visually and energetically align with my practice, I feel that I can truly move and flow freely within my space, which is the most important aspect of making a place feel like home.

Tamara is wearing our Champagne/Ivory Luna Plunge Bra in 32C and Luna Seamless High Waist in Medium

 

7. Are there any self-care rituals that are important to you?

Although ALL forms of self-care are extremely important, my self-care practices have recently shifted from outward (ie. skincare, long showers, playing the guitar) to very solemn, internal practices like compassionate self-talk, which I find is a crucial part of my journey with the boundary work I have been doing. I have been radically acknowledging the voices are reacting and judging me as I move through different emotions. I have been practicing affirmations through actively engaging with these judgements that can quickly go unnoticed, and manifesting kind, nurturing self-talk. I validate my heart when it shows up brave. I apologize to my heart when I deem her weak for feeling vulnerable. I reassure myself that I should never feel guilty for taking breaks from work. I often do this practice while sitting still in the sun- allowing it to heat and charge my Being. These moments of radical kindness, warmth and stillness remind me that my Being extends much further than what my mind can ruminate and what hands can touch, and like the earth and sun, are infinite and boundless.

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SHOP COLLECTION

 

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