Clara Leitão

Artistic study


Stories are part of human nature; they form our belief system. To produce them, we need tools like language, gestures or images. This is especially true for a large portion of the population who cannot read or write, for children or even our ancestors who told stories through cave drawings. Writing is another tool that has enabled us to preserve and circulate text through books, messages or newspapers.

Telling a story can be as powerful as interpreting it. Education here is the key, providing the necessary tools to understand common narratives. A child with access to education has a greater chance of being seen and heard. Ideas can be put on paper, circulated and translated into action. Those with unlimited access to education - researchers, journalists, teachers, politicians - create our world every day.

Goal 4_Clara Leitão_sketch.jpg

Photo: Sketch from Clara Leitao

Goal 4_Clara Leitão_dimensons.jpg

Photo: Sketch from Clara Leitao

Proposal - Creating a story with children

I propose working with a group of children in the Odsherred municipality. I will carry out two sessions at one of the local schools with children who are learning (or have recently learned) how to read and write (ages 7- 9). In the first session, assisted by the teacher, we will write a story together, meaning everyone can contribute with ideas. In cooperation, children will decide the course of the narrative. I propose a general theme for the story, which relates to the idea of narrative as an important tool for worldmaking:

"Imagine what the world will look like when you are a grown-up"

In the second session, children will create drawings inspired by their own story.
After these sessions, and looking at both story and drawings, I will adapt the current sculpture prototype, modifying both shapes and paintings as necessary to illustrate the children’s vision.
The prototype here presented shows the sculpture’s final dimensions and colours, but shapes and content of the paintings will be altered to incorporate children’s ideas.

Infinite possibilities

The sculpture is a three-dimensional narrative. The simple way each motif fits with the next one resembles a children’s game, but it also represents building and putting ideas together. In a story, each character and event are important because together they lead to a bigger picture. Drawing a parallel with children and education, we can think of cooperation and learning as key factors in turning ideas into reality.

The sculpture can be seen differently from all angles, and it also suggestscontinuation. The way motifs fit together and stabilize one another, like in a puzzle, offers the possibility of assembling even more pieces, in all directions. Again, much like pieces of a puzzle, ideas can be combined, readjusted, they can expand and form unexpected pictures. And the greater our tools are for elaborating those ideas, the more complex and rich the outcome will be.

Clara Leitão

Clara Leitão (1995, Portugal), studerede kostume- og scenografi i Lissabon (2014) og dimitterede med en førsteklasses honours degree i tekstildesign (specialiseret i tryk) fra Heriot-Watt University i Skotland (2019). Gennem et udvekslingsprogram afsluttede hun et semester med studier i tekstildesign i Indien ved National Institute of Design (2018).
Clara er interesseret i emner forbundet med fabler, drømme og fantasi og udforsker ofte ideer om både uskyld og ondskab. Hvert af hendes projekter kræver forskellige medier, men hun arbejder mest med tegning, maleri, træ og tekstiler (gennem broderi eller tryk).

I 2019 blev hun tildelt The Clothworkers 'Company Printed Textile Design Prize i London og nomineret gennem TexSelect til at vise sit arbejde på Première Vision Paris (2019). I 2020 afsluttede Clara kunstboliger i Danmark, Portugal og Bulgarien og udstillede sit arbejde med den portugisiske keramiker António Vasconcelos Lapa.

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Clara Leitão_picture.jpg

Clara Leitão (1995, Portugal), studied Costume & Set Design in Lisbon (2014) and graduated with a First-Class Honours Degree in Textile Design (specializing in Print), from Heriot-Watt University, in Scotland (2019). Through an exchange programme, she completed a semester of studies in Textile Design in India, at the National Institute of Design (2018).
Clara is interested in subjects connected to fables, dreams and fantasy and often explores ideas of both innocence and mischief. Each of her projects calls for different media, but she works mostly with drawing, painting, wood and textiles (through embroidery or print).

In 2019, she was awarded The Clothworkers’ Company Printed Textile Design Prize, in London, and nominated through TexSelect to show her work at Première Vision Paris (2019). In 2020, Clara completed art residencies in Denmark, Portugal and Bulgaria and exhibited her work with Portuguese ceramicist António Vasconcelos Lapa.