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News > May 2020 > AHAW 10 Fellow Clare Tantoco (Paper)

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AHAW 10 Fellow Clare Tantoco (Paper)

Em Enriquez | May 19, 2020

“If you could travel back in time before the pandemic and before quarantine, what is one thing you would want to tell yourself?”
To Sarah, June, Sinja, Cam, Bria, and all the other strangers who took the time to answer this question –
Thank you for sharing.

“[When] the panelists would give comments, you could tell that it always came from a place of wanting to see the fellows grow as artists and improve their craft. It was never "condescending" or yung tipong "estudyante ka lang". [There] was a lot of respect with regards to everything. I really felt like I was being guided by everyone, fellows and panelists alike! [T]he panelists never "babied" or "underestimated" the fellows in any way, you could tell they really wanted to push us to our [fullest] potential!”

Clare Tantoco was filled with glee and excitement when she took her seat in the 10th Ateneo Heights Artists Workshop. Having known some of the panelists and other fellows beforehand, she was nothing but eager to get to know them and to have them discuss and view her work. 

Utilizing paper, Clare was advised to make the most out of her unique medium, in order to tell impactful stories that highlight the messages she intends to convey. Prior to the workshop, she described her work as too “concept-focused”; she wanted to make the most of the medium and creatively manipulate it so that it’s more personal and for viewers to be able to understand it more. 

In line with that, her submitted piece “Thank you for sharing’ is a series of 5 paper sculptures shaped like flowers. Amidst the global health crisis, Clare wanted to make a piece that sheds a spotlight on the things people would like to tell themselves before the  extended community quarantine (ECQ) was enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her intent for this work was to “give flowers” to these strangers who willingly shared their stories with her. For her, she wants the viewers of her piece to “...think and reflect on everything that's happening right now, and the human connection that can form between two complete strangers.”

To this day, Clare stays connected with her fellow fellows as they share their personal progress with their works. She also has kept in touch with her panelist, JV, who for her has become a mentor she can always count on when she needs help in alleviating her artist’s block, or just someone she can relate and chat with. The cheerful artist looks back fondly on the experience, carrying with her the value of creating art that people can relate to and enjoy. 

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