"Moirai – A wood engraving about the white-robed incarnations of destiny – the sisters Morai. They controlled the mother thread of lifestyle of every mortal being from birth to death. Choto spun the thread of life,  Lachesis measured the thread of life allotted to each person and Atropos was the cutter of the thread of life. In this engraving the 3 sisters appear as slightly dark but innocent looking characters, aiming to convey in a slight and simple way the paradoxes of life and of death.


Psychiatry Series – A series of oil paintings that aim to portrait/represent the history of psychiatry as well as some current realities of the “pseudo-science”. The history of psychiatry shows us horrible and barbaric “treatments” like the use of electroshock therapy, insulin comas and lobotomies.  Today one of the worst aspects of psychiatry is the excess of psychotropic drugs prescribed, many times to children as young as 2 years old, drugs that are used to cure/control certain aspects of  a “disease” that doesn’t have a concrete diagnosis (5 psychiatrists will give you 5 different diagnosis for the same problem). Psychiatry is not a science and its “treatments” are only given credit because it is seen as a science.

TBD – This large-scale drawing is based on old family photographs all taken in Portugal during the 60s and the 70s. This piece has a total of 90 images showing a bit of personal day-to-day life both in the city and in the countryside of real people that lived during that time in this place.


The tell-tale heart – A wood engraving based as much in emotional as in mystical aspects, the idea od two people together intimately but each one in their own world, and it couldn’t be any other way, because ultimately we’re all alone in the world."


Mariana Santos

My interest in art started at age 13 and was born out of a passion for music and the desire to represent through images the musicians I loved so much and what their songs meant to me. From that initial spark I started branching out into different themes and developing my skills and ideas, I also started getting curious about the history of art and how other artists represented the world, their thoughts, feelings, passions and ideas. In 2010 I enrolled in Escola Secundária Astística António Arroio, an arts specialized high school in Lisbon and in 2013 graduated with a major in ceramics (it was there that I was introduced to this new medium, which I loved and really enjoyed exploring). During those three years I took part in 3 group exhibitions (at the National Tile Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art and at Palácio Galveias), I also illustrated a children’s book published by an Australian publisher in 2013.


After high school I continued to develop my own personal work, mainly paintings, drawings and engravings focused mostly on people, culture, literature, history. My work has always been more related to world and to my observation of it than to myself and any inner feelings or turmoil. In 2013 I started the first year of the Sculpture Degree at Faculdade de Belas Artes Universidade de Lisboa but after a year decided to enroll in the Drawing and Painting Degree at Ar.Co (I got in directly to 2nd year based on a portfolio evaluation). In 2014 my tile pale about Lisbon was featured in a retrospective exhibition of ceramic art created in António Arroio and in 2015 I had a solo exhibition at Atelier Bombarda as well as participated in a group exhibition “Poetry in Visual” in Museu da Cidade in Aveiro. Throughout 2014 and 2015 I collaborated with the poet Gerry Brennan to create a book of illustrated poetry, which consists of 37 poems and 40 drawings based on said poems, it was published in October 2015 by a small American publisher based in New York and a translated version of it is also going to be published in Portugal quite soon.


About my work I think of it as a new approach of pop culture. Thought the globalization process I explore a return to the origens, my origins… the world origins. The initial process of my work emerged in a trip to the past. Looking for forms of objects, bodies, faces, expressions, spaces… in this way I intend to show that the use of recycled objects is not only a formal, or decorative expedient, but more than that, they have physical and cognitive potential. These materials had been chosen by some sort of connection that I created with them, making an energetic bridge between me and them, between past and present. I add symbology and mysticism, through a search of ancient knowledge, like alchemy. I embrace my experiences in a unique language, by the contact with nature through art, contrasting with sexuality of fashion and media as the new Adam & Eve. I work a subtle and serene publicity satire, a sweet irony to spice people´s mind and make them search for many realities that are subconsciously inside them without their knowledge. The images I create are autobiography, charged with symbolism and feelings, showing cinematic movements as a paused movie screen. The works are made mainly in acrylic canvas, but also in photography, engraving, installations, watercolors and drawings in a precise, detailed and very feminine way to approach things.


'Moirai' Woodcut. 2014. 35cmx65cm

'TDB' Pen and watercolour on paper. 2014 119x84cm

'The tell-tale heart' Woodcut. 2014. 59cmx42cm

'Psychiatry Series' Oil on Canvas. 2016. 52cmx110cm

For more information about this artworks please contact us to: portugalnow2015@gmail.com



Mara Alves PortugArt Founder

Tel: +44 (0) 7425089060

E-mail: portugalnow2015@gmail.com


Supported by The Portuguese Embassy