Shaping the Past



Sara Navarro, born in Portugal in 1980, is a sculptor, researcher and professor. 

In 2014, she completed a Ph.D. in Sculpture at Fine Arts College of the University of Lisbon. While a doctoral student, she was a research grant holder at the Science and Technology Foundation. Her main research focus is to work at the interface of art and archaeology. During her investigation for her doctorate, Sara discusses the possible role of contemporary sculpture in communicating archaeology subjects in archaeological museums, sites or landscapes. 

Articulating an innovative dialogue between art and archaeology, Sara regularly shows and publishes her work in both individual exhibitions and international conferences.


Sara Navarro

The aim of Sara Navarro’s work is to bridge the gap between the most remote processes of ceramics production and contemporary sculpture. Her main focus is the relationship between hand and matter, in the artisanal know-how sense. 

She convokes the power of fire in the production of ceramic artefacts: transforming soft and malleable clay into hard and resistant material. In this way she is connecting the art of sculpture with primeval processes of ceramics production and conferring a primordial cultural value to the practice of sculpture.

Earth (clay), due to its malleability, allows her to explore the gesture that, associated with terrestrial substance, is the basis of the creation of objects similar to archeological pieces, embryos of current times. The sculptures, (re)created by the art of fire, convey something prehistoric, something that evokes the art and culture of other times, other places, something that wakens echoes of an ancient land.

By proposing a leap between millenniums, she is responding to her fascination with archaeological fragments that hail us from ancient times, from enigmatic and extinct societies. These dual references between a remote past and the contemporary are fused into a synthesis, in which the sculptures function as a metaphor operating in the displacement between the historical references and our imagination.

Based on lost realities, the forms created put present time in contact with remote pasts. Through transfiguration, primordial models arise, recognisable, but charged with new symbolism. Artefacts with multiple significances with constructed and reconstructed meanings...

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