Maria Madeira


Born in Gleno, Tim­or-Leste 1969
Lives and works in 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 is based in Timor-Leste’s cap­i­tal, Dili and Perth, Aus­tralia, where she migrat­ed with her fam­i­ly in 1983 fol­low­ing sev­en years in a refugee camp in Por­tu­gal. A promi­nent fig­ure in Timor-Leste’s recov­ery since it achieved inde­pen­dence twen­ty-five years ago, Madeira has recent­ly been artist-in-res­i­dence at Dili’s Fun­dação Oriente.

Madeira was born in the vil­lage of Gleno in the Ermera region of Tim­or-Leste. The Indone­sian régime invad­ed in 1975, and her fam­i­ly was evac­u­at­ed to Por­tu­gal the fol­low­ing year. She spent most of the fol­low­ing sev­en years in a refugee camp run by the Red Cross on the out­skirts of Lis­bon and migrat­ed with her fam­i­ly to Aus­tralia in 1983.

Over the years, she obtained sev­er­al aca­d­e­m­ic qual­i­fi­ca­tions. She grad­u­at­ed with a B.A. Fine Arts (Visu­al Arts) Degree from Curtin Uni­ver­si­ty, Perth 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 B.A. in Polit­i­cal Sci­ence from Mur­doch Uni­ver­si­ty. In 2019, she com­plet­ed a Doc­tor of Phi­los­o­phy in Art from Curtin University. 

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 – 2004, she returned to Tim­or-Leste to con­tribute to the recov­ery, rebuild­ing and rede­vel­op­ment of Tim­or-Leste, the newest nation in Asia. 

Select­ed solo exhi­bi­tions include Flow­ery Talk, Fun­dação Ori­ente, Dili, Tim­or-Leste, 2023 – 24; Mana Maria, Chi­ang Mai Uni­ver­si­ty, Thai­land 2022; A Place in the Sun, Fun­dação Ori­ente, Dili, Tim­or-Leste, 2022; Tim­or-Leste: An Artis­tic Per­spec­tive, Uni­ver­si­ty of Col­orado, 2019; Ina Lou (Dear Moth­er Earth), Galeri Cip­ta II, Jakar­ta, 2014; Famil­iar Steps, Fes­ti­val da Luso­fo­nia, Macau, 2011 and Silent Voic­es, Can­nery Arts Cen­tre, Esper­ance, West­ern Aus­tralia, 2007.

Select­ed group exhi­bi­tions include Bien­nale Jog­ja XVI Equa­tor #6, Yogyakar­ta Nation­al Muse­um, Indone­sia, 2021; ART­FEM: Women artists 2nd Inter­na­tion­al Bien­ni­al of Macau, Natu­ra Alber­gue SCM, Macau, 2020; Elas­tic (Bor­racha) Mobile Res­i­den­cy, Chan Con­tem­po­rary Art Space, North­ern Cen­tre for Con­tem­po­rary Art and Cross Art Projects, Dar­win Aus­tralia, 2014; Arte Luso­fona Con­tem­po­ranea, Gale­ria Mar­ta Tra­ba, São Paulo, Brazil, 2011 and Pic­tur­ing the Sea, Lawrence Wil­son Art Gallery, Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Aus­tralia, 2006.

Available Works

Maria Madeira

Tais Feto (Female Tais), 2021
Tais (Tim­o­rese tra­di­tion­al cloth), betel nut, dilut­ed red earth, beta­dine, pen­cil, ink, glue, and seal­er on paper
70cm x 50cm

Maria Madeira

Refugee Camp, 2020
Rock pow­der, red earth, Betel nut, cot­ton, gauze, beta­dine, glue, shel­lac, ink and seal­er on canvas
70cm x 115cm

Maria Madeira

Resisten­cia Tim­o­rense (Tim­o­rese Resistance), 2020
Fab­ric mate­r­i­al, cot­ton, tais (tra­di­tion­al Tim­o­rese cloth), betel nut, dilut­ed red earth, glue, and sealer
110cm x 130cm

Maria Madeira

Remains, 2019
Rock pow­der, red earth, glue, char­coal, pen­cil and seal­er on canvas
100cm x 115cm


Maria Madeira | 60TH Inter­na­tion­al Venice Biennale

Kiss and Don’t Tell 20 April – 24 Novem­ber 2024 Tim­or-Leste Pavil­ion at 60th […]

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Natal­ie King | Cura­tor of the first Tim­or-Leste Pavilion

The first-ever Tim­or-Leste Pavil­ion, which coin­cides with the 25th anniver­sary of the nation’s independence […]

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