Artist Statement:

My body of work in the main tends to reflect how I observe and perceive the world. So I prefer to incorporate myself into it as both silent voyeur and as an enquirer who seeks to learn a little bit more about the subjects and their own personal moods and predicaments.

So my subject is often people and how they relate to place. I’m intrigued by how they either fit or don’t fit appropriately into their surroundings – if it appears illusory or rather what we label as ‘reality/appropriate’. Being influenced by other art forms like literature and cinema I try and use a narrative to suggest what the characters are doing, may just have done or are about to do.

I believe that it’s possible for the artist to maintain the fine line between external observation whilst at the same time being introspective – a necessary conclusion as the artist is of course ever present.

I often base my work on still frames from old, now forgotten, movies and equally so from old discarded photographs in an attempt to renew or reanimate the old and poignant images that I see as still worthy of life. I often source my ‘material’ on photos found at flea markets or in old antique albums. Then I try to instill them with some aspect of my imagination as to what or who they may or may not have been in the moment that the shutter speed captured some other aspect of their essence and in doing so, hopefully catch some tiny thing of reality or beauty that the ‘never lying’ lens missed.



Mariana’s 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 she loved so much and what their songs meant to her. From that initial spark she started branching out into different themes and developing her skills and ideas, she also started getting curious about the history of art and how other artists represented the world, their thoughts, feelings, passions and ideas.

In 2010, she enrolled in Escola Secundária Astística António Arroio, an arts specialized high school in Lisbon, having graduated in 2013 with a major in Ceramics. During those three years she took part in 3 group exhibitions (at the National Tile Museum, the National Museum of Contemporary Art and at Palácio Galveias), she also illustrated a children’s book published by an Australian publisher in 2013.

After high school she continued to develop her own personal work, mainly oil painting, drawing (pen and water-colour) and printmaking. Focusing her themes and interests mostly on people, culture, literature and history.

She later went on to college at Ar.Co in Lisbon where I finished her Drawing and Painting degree in 2016. 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, a portguese vertion of the same book was also published in 2016 by a Portuguese publisher. While taking her degree, she participated in several group exhibitions in Portugal and abroad as well as a solo exhibition in Atelier Bombarda.

In April 2016 she participated in a Group Exhibition in Galway, Ireland. This exhibition commemorated the centenary of the 1916 Irish Rising and featured works of several established Irish artists and well as some international artists.


  • 2016 Drawing and Painting Degree –, Lisbon
  • 2013 Arts Specialised High School Degree – Escola Sacundária Artística António Arroio, Lisbon



  • 2016 Group Exhibition “Galway 1916 Exhibition” at Connacht Tribune Print Works. Galway, Ireland
  • 2015 Solo Exhibition at Atelier Bombarda. Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2015 Group Exhibition “Poetry in Visual” at Museu da Cidade de Aveiro. Aveiro, Portugal
  • 2014 Group Exhibition “Aresta com Aresta, Ceramics Retrospective” at António Arroio. Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2013 Group Exhibition “IlustraLisboa” at Palácio das Galveias. Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2013 Group Exhibition “Copos de Terra” at The National Museum of Contemporary Art. Lisbon, Portugal
  • 2013 Group Exhibition “Interpretação contemporânea de azulejos do século XVII” National Tile Museum. Lisbon, Portugal



  • 2016 “Claro Escuro” Poems by Gerry Brennan, illustrations by Mariana Santos, Obnósis Editora
  • 2016 Fall Issue, Center Stage Magazine
  • 2015 “Light and Shade” Poems by Gerry Brennan, illustrations by Mariana Santos, Pski’s Press
  • 2015 Vol. XXXI No. 2, The MacGuffin
  • 2013 “Three Tall Buildings”, Awaken your kids
  • 2012 Issues 16, A Public Space