I am Maria Lusitano, a visual artist born in Lisbon in 1971. I live currently in London, to where I moved in 2011. In my practice I work with video, video-installation, drawing, and artist publications.
I use art as a tool/language to relate to the world and to interpret my experiences and metaphysical queries. My art projects use experimental models of storytelling/narrative and symbolical language, to explore links between historical and personal/family memory, the role of personal and collective utopias/dreams in the construction of reality, an understanding/exploration of consciousness and spiritual questionings. My practice involves artistic research, relational ethnography and participatory methodologies.
I hold a BA in Fine Art taken at Maumaus, school of visual arts, an MFA in Fine Art taken at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden in 2009. In 2015 I concluded my arts based Ph.D at the University of Westminster, London. My practice-based research was entitled Performing the relational times and voices of childhood in the video-essay. I studied Music (violin) at the Conservatory of Music in Coimbra, and hold a Master degree in Medicine taken at University of Coimbra, Portugal (1998).
I have exhibited in international events such as Manifesta 5, Photo Espana 6, 29th biennial of Sao Paulo, (2010) and others. My work was exhibited in art venues such as in Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joshibi university, Tokyo (2010), Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Ireland (2013), Portuguese National Museum of Contemporary Art (2013), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2012), and various other museums and art galleries. I was awarded various scholarships, such as the Swedish Art Scholarship Edstranska Stiefeltse, the Calouste Gulbenkian Scholarship and the Science and Technology Foundation scholarship.
My work is present in art collections such as Victoria and Albert Museum Artist Book Collection, Georges Pompidou's Artist Book Collection, MOMA Artist Book collection, EDP Museum, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and various other private collectors.
My art projects are inspired by my life experiences and my autobiography, which I always contextualize and intertwine with the biographies of others . For the past five years, I have been obsessed with inner knowing and then, for the past two years, with an old question: What is the true gift art brings the world, and how can we find, once more the soul of contemporary art?
My current two ongoing project delve deeply into the former two questions. Dream economics explores the links between art night dreams and novel economic models such as the sharing economy/gift economy. Economics stems from oiko-nomics, house keeping. I believe contemporary art is currently at a threshold, and it needs healing, inner house keeping. It needs to go back to its roots, in terms of its processes, to re-discover its inner truth, which has been a bit lost. I believe and I am looking for an art that is capable of healing/"wholing" the world, through creativity and awe.
Alchemical bodies of desire, explores my spiritual journey. Inspired by the work of Carl Jung, the project journeys the integration of the feminine and masculine, through artist books, storytelling and collage. The project uses drawing, a collection of plants, photography and writing, to explore the creative relationship between my experience, botany and the ancient tradition of alchemy. It narrates the inner alchemical symbolism inherent to the various journeys of my life, where alchemy is re interpreted through art, as a path for profound embodied spiritual transformation.