Wise Women Wednesday: Paula Damasceno

At Penland School of Arts and Crafts during SPE Soutwest meeting.JPG

Q. Who are you? What is your background? 
A. My name is Paula Damasceno, I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1975.  My background includes but is not limited to, dance, theater, video documentary, social practice project design, and management. I hold a BFA with a concentration in Photography and a minor in Media Studies from UNC Greensboro. Currently, I am pursuing a dual Master's Degree in Library Science and Art History at UNC Chaple Hill. I have certification as a Yoga Teacher and as a Reiki II practitioner. 

Q. What is your work? 
A. My works are many. 

I am an artist who explores and makes pieces related but not limited to, Trasnamerican African Diaspora, history, and culture using photography and diverse materials. I am a multimedia instruction coordinator an UNC Greensboro Jackson Library Digital Media Commons. I also consider work, but with a much more subtle goal, the Yoga classes, and Reiki sessions I offer.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. One project I am excited about right now is the making of a performative piece called Share Ancestry. I swirl wearing strings of one-inch square Iroko wood. On the squares are transferred photographs of people that carry the same last name as me or are from the same places my ancestors were. In contrast to what happens when I am using the piece but I am not moving and the photographs can be seen as individual little portraits when I swirl the result is a unified blurred image in which the individual photographs no longer can be seen separately. As the images are blurred, so is the idea of individual ancestry and DNA.

Shared Ancestry Protype_byChrisSnow.jpg

Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did? 
A. To keep working on Shared Ancestry is very scary. Creativity is, to me, this mix of fear and reward, and is a practice that teaches a lot about how to be scared and to create anyways. Engage with the making of an art piece is the commitment to constantly have that conversation. 

Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it?  If not why not what's stopping you?  
A. I am doing what I want the most to be doing. Building up my strengths with myself, with others, learning to love. Taking care of my energy levels, offering the benefits of Yoga and Reiki, making art, having a job, specializing. Nothing is stopping me. I am on the path I've chosen to be, and anything else is past of future fantasies.

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self? 
A. Get to know yourself.  Believe in yourself. 

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers? 
A. Get to know yourself.  Believe in yourself. 

My studies.JPG

Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it? 
A. When I don’t feel like it, I don’t do it. It means to me that it is time to go in the great dark woods and see some stuff about myself, ask some questions, struggle a little bit. But I am learning to do it, a perhaps to do it with grace...

Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?  
A. Savasana. 

Q. How do you live a life of abundance? 
A. Whenever I am in the present moment, I am in abundance. 


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