4. QUALITY EDUCATION
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.
Photo: Sketch from Clara Leitao
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.
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 (1995, Portugal), studied costume and scenography in Lisbon (2014) and graduated with a first class honors degree in textile design (specializing in print) from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland (2019). Through an exchange program, she completed a semester of textile design studies in India at the National Institute of Design (2018).
Clara is interested in subjects associated with fables, dreams and fantasy and often explores ideas of both innocence and evil. Each of her projects requires 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 the Portuguese ceramist António Vasconcelos Lapa.
Clara Leitão (1995, Portugal), studied Costume & Set Design in Lisbon (2014) and graduated with a First-Class Honors 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.