My work has been developing from the intimate articulation between the visual arts, writing, editing and publishing books, to a group of expressions or media that over the last few years have been expanding into sculpture and the occupation of three-dimensional space. At the intersection between literature and the visual arts, I have been developing editorial projects: I was one of the founding members of the publishing project that covers Art & Design practices – Braço de Ferro – and the responsible for the editorial project – Navio Vazio. Currently, I am the editor of Leonorana – an annual journal of artistic transdisciplinary research. My artistic path is characterized by a strong experimental component, based on research, mainly in the field of philosophy and literature, that informs projects developed at the intersection between arts, sciences and speculative knowledge. In my work, I recurrently address questions related to the materiality of language, extendable to non-verbal forms of expression, seeking to raise awareness and wishing to be able to contribute to the preservation of diversified and, consequently, inclusive socialization ecosystems, populated by humans and non-humans. I regularly exhibit individually and collectively in the national and international contexts of contemporary art. Among my recent exhibitions, I would like to highlight the following: Langages Tissés, Center d'Arte Le Lait (Albi), in France, and AR(a)C(hné)-EN-CIEL, Galeria Quadrado Azul (Lisbon), Strange Attractor, Pavilhão Branco (Lisbon) and Feet of Clay, at Galeria Municipal do Porto (Porto), in Portugal. From the art residencies I’ve done, I would highlight: Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany; Hangar, Barcelona, Spain; and Maaretta Jaukkuri Foundation, Lofoten, Norway.
Under the name Clara Batalha, a pseudonym I chose around 2010 – that can be read as a proper name or by its meaning, “bright battle” – I stage a long-term collaboration that permits me to develop work often related to drawing and illustration. Through her practice I wish to explore questions of identity, gender and old age stigma.
Clara Batalha (Porto, 1929). In 1952, she graduated in Art and Geometry from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. In the same year, she attended the free course of Decorative Arts. Between 1953 and 1965, she worked as a private educator in Paris. From 1969 to 1983, she settled in the Douro region (Baião) where she worked as a librarian for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Only in 1977, Batalha began to write, draw and publish regularly in the bulletin of the same Foundation. Since 2010, in co-authorship with Isabel Carvalho, she has developed several artistic projects. In 2018, they had an exhibition together called “Os ovários das papoilas” (“The poppy ovaries”) at Sismógrafo, Porto. Recently she has been dedicating herself to environmental activism joining several informal groups, and has been a great promotor of the phenology study between youngsters.