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Published on November 07, 2022

Daniela de Sousa

"In my work I strive to capture the complexities of natural interactions and its vulnerabilities as it goes through transformational processes such as extreme heat and reactant combinations. Conversely, I also explore the universal experiences that shape human perceptions of beauty and modes of existence. Conditions in which we find ourselves, privately or collectively, such as love, loss, geo-socio-economic-political circumstances….parenting teenagers….all in which transform the perceptions of ourselves and the world around us. In my process, I look for the balance between freedom and control, space and form, light and obscurity, opposed concepts that, once achieved, allows me to rediscover a sense of dignity and reverence for life.

It begins with an abundant raw material - clay. After being handled and shaped, the clay is then submitted to several transformative stages, thermal shocks, chemical reactions, unpredictable weather conditions, actions often led by varied emotional states of mind, to finally be revealed and evaluated, deemed worthy or not. Ceramics is one of the earliest technological advancements in human history - one of which has endured universally and parallel to our own history. An everlasting, giant leap that never ceases to intrigue and fascinate me. And most importantly helps me make sense of my own journey and transformative process navigating the world as a woman, immigrant, mother, lover, artist, student, teacher, and member of my community."

Daniela de Sousa is a ceramic artist, sculptor and educator. She immigrated from Brazil in 1999 After an arduous process of full language immersion and acculturation, she earned an Associate’s degree from Quinebaug Community College, a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with concentration in Sculpture from Eastern and a master’s degree in Arts Education from the University of Florida. Si, se puede!

Daniela currently resides in Mansfield Center, CT and works as an adjunct Instructor in the Sculpture Department at Eastern. She is also a full time Art Teacher at Windham High School and founder of Spiral Arts Studio, a community arts and ceramics studio in Willimantic, Windham, CT.

As an artist, Daniela works with a variety of media, but she loves clay and specializes in ceramics. Her work explores enduring universalities and its relationship with the human experience. Daniela relies on her process to make sense of her own journey through life’s topsy and turvys and she strongly believes that access to art making opportunities is a requisite of the possibility of a just society.