Maria Madeira

b. 1969, Gleno, Timor-Leste
Lives and works in Dili, Timor-Leste and Perth, Australia

Maria Madeira is one of Timor-Leste’s most significant con­tem­po­rary visu­al artists with an internationally regarded practice deeply embedded in Timor-Leste traditions, concerns and histories. She migrated with her family in 1983 following seven years in a refugee camp in Portugal, and is a prominent figure in Timor-Leste’s recov­ery since it achieved inde­pen­dence twen­ty-five years ago.

Over the years, she obtained several academic qualifications. She graduated with a BA. Fine Arts (Visual Arts) Degree from Curtin University, Australia, in 1991. Two years later she received a Graduate Diploma of Education (Major in Art) from the same university. In 1996, she obtained her second degree, a BA in Political Science from Murdoch University. In 2019, she finally obtained a postgraduate (Doctor of Philosophy – Art) from Curtin University in Australia. Between 1996 and 2000, she worked in Western Australia as a high school art teacher, visual artist and cultural advisor for several arts and cultural organisations. Between 2000 and 2004, she returned to Timor-Leste to live and play her part in the recovery, rebuilding and development of her beloved country and the newest nation in Asia.

Maria has produced artwork in a wide range of media, from painting to sculpture, drawing, mixed media collage and installation work. Her work has been shown in over 30 international exhibitions across Australia, Portugal, Brazil, Macau, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. One of her main concerns as an artist, arts educator and cultural adviser is to convey Timor-Leste’s culture and traditions to other societies—and vice-versa. It is her strong belief that art and culture are the spirit and soul of a nation, and is a vehicle through which future generations can learn to appreciate the beauty and strength of their own culture—and, in this way, discover who they are in the world.

BIOGRAPHY INFORMATION FROM THE ARTIST’S WEBSITE AND ANNA SCHWARTZ GALLERY, APRIL 2024.

Country: Timor-Leste