In this article, Octavio O’Shanahan Juan, Doctor in Art Therapy and partner of the ETTECEC project, explains how he reached the objective of coming up with a logo that represents the main spirit and objectives of the project.
As part of the ETTECEC kickoff meeting held in Las Palmas (Spain) on January 11 2018, O’Shanahan presented his proposal for the project’s logo, which was discussed and approved by the rest of the partnership. O’Shanahan, current professor in the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, collaborates with the ETTECEC coordinator Asociación Mi Hijo Y Yo in therapeutic projects for autistic children.
“If we go over the path followed to create a logo for the ETTECEC project, we will find a number of sketches that bear witness to that path and the search for a meaning for this logo. To reach this point, I was guided by the feeling I have towards the children and, moving my hand and creating traits, I waited until the true meaning emerged.
In the first sketchs, we can find different sheets with lines in black and white. Some curved and straight traits appeared together with some human figures. In one of them, we can see a star and some children playing, designed with very schematic lines. Around this linear shape, other more dynamic lines emerged. Now we can distinguish straight lines, mainly in the star, and other curved lines crossing and breaking the static environment of the straight traits.
Little by little a dialogue was established between these two gestures. Sometimes chaos and the dinamic of the curve start to delve into the whole context, and the figure of the human being appear to become unimportant.
At some point, the curved line gets further impetus and expands, equally surrounding the top of the surface and interfering with the sky. This generated a curved gesture that somehow wrapped around the star shape. On the other side of the composition, the curve contractred and generated a spiral at the bottom.
When I continued with the proccess of simplification, the human being appears again (now in the middle of the logo). I realised that the gesture of this main figure marks the movement of the traits and this made it possible to establish a dinamic game between the top and bottom of the composition. I also appreciated that I didn’t want to compose the logo from the basis of the gravity or the structural horizon line, but from something full of movement.
Finally I started to define the traits and to create a balance between the three centres of interest, knowing that those centres were connected, not isolated. The human figure was placed a little bit higher than the floor line .
On the one hand, this logo provides us with dinamics between up and down, and sky and earth. The life and wisdom spiral is not something close but open, vibrant and creative. On the other hand, the symbol of the star with five points now seems to be penetrated by the human figure and the spiral curves. This is the aspiration proposed by this logo: the straight and curved shapes as part of a creative movement to re-discover the human being (the child and its values) and also recognise them in the school regardeless of those particularities that define one child or another.
Actually it is not about a simple meaning, it is something more complex.
All in all, I hope that this logo can inspire us in pursuing meanings from that amazement and surrender to look for the wisdom needed to ask ourselves questions about the children we are working with, the human being, education and life itself”.