Forbes Italy - January 2021
THE ART OF WILL
She cannot speak and cannot use her left hand but communicates through her drawings—Clara Woods, a 14-year-old hit by a perinatal stroke, paints and exhibits success worldwide.
Clara Woods is a special girl for her intelligence, talent, and creativity. "Normal" people would say she is different. Following a stroke that struck her in the prenatal phase, Clara does not speak and cannot use her left hand. She looked like she was doomed to a hopeless existence, but she had a brilliant intelligence that allowed her to understand three languages.
Following many rehabilitation efforts, he is now capable of running. He found a more effective communication channel than the word: art. Speak through the works. Painting for a 14-year-old girl like her is an activity that allows her to connect with the world: she draws, paints, and makes ceramics and mosaics.
For several years he has been doing successful exhibitions all over the world. The Brazilian mother Betina lists them with pride: in the USA in Miami in a side event at Art Basel, in Japan in Kobe, in Dubai, in Canada, in Australia. Her exhibitions have been so successful that she is the youngest entrepreneur in the field of art: she opened her company when she was only twelve years old, amidst many difficulties and obstacles.
But there is another thing that makes Clara special: her willpower, stubbornness, sunshine, and life energy. She does not communicate it with words but with deeds. Whatever she does, she seems to say: where you come from and what means you have doesn't matter; if you want something, you can, as long as you want.
She lives in Florence, the cradle of Renaissance art, and although she loves Italy, she wants to move to the United States, to Los Angeles. She immediately transmits instinctive, visceral energy as she watches you smile with her blue eyes.
Inside her studio, Clara does not paint sitting on an easel, but she does it using her whole body, especially her arms and left hand. Behind her runs her eight-year-old brother Davi, who, in mysterious communication with her, seems to give her suggestions about where to put her color.
While she spreads the color, her painting merges with the gesture; the childish drawing takes on intense and wild colors like the Fauvist painters, like those of the artists of the Cobra group. The paintings emanate Clara's visual intelligence and, at the same time, her powerful human and personal energy.
That same force that moves the mountains.
Clara is also a teenager like many others, with one foot in the world of childhood and one foot on that of adult women.
She likes ice cream and hanging out with friends on her social media. Like a little unripe woman, she recently began to take an interest in the world with a creative project called: "Take your passion and make it happen." She paints on accessories as she does with large canvases. And then, she decided she wanted to lend her body to a modeling profession.
If she isn't perfect like those on the covers of Vogue, it doesn't matter: all imperfect girls have the right to feel beautiful and tell their story made of beauty and exceptionality. Through banal fashion photos, Clara's body and face no longer emanate a stereotypical image with a photoshop taste, but rather her very strong vital energy.
Draw the words
Recently Clara Woods published a children's book, Voce Su Tela, published by KM Edizioni, written by Francesco Ciai, with an introduction by Marco Montemagno, which conveys a positive message of inclusion.
It tells of a little girl named Clara who lives on the planet where the colors were born, where there is no talk and is expressed with brush strokes, and of her sudden arrival on Earth. How will she feel? Will she be able to make friends? A fairy tale that tells the richness that comes from discovering that we are all different and how, thanks to colors and a canvas, Clara finds her place in the world.