Currently Showing In the Gallery

Maria Miranda Lawrence

Maria Miranda Lawrence

Artist Statement

As a young child I grew up listening to my father’s collection of Amalia Rodrigues and other Fado singers. Three decades late I began to understand his love of Fado, often referred to as Portuguese blues. It can draw your deepest inner most feelings of love and sorrow. Fado and its melodic songs, often sad, speak of intense longing (Saudades), the sea and separation. I first met Sara Marreiros as she began singing Fado. She was inspired by the great Amalia and other current popular fadistas such as Mariza, Cristina Branco, and Dulce Pontes.  Listening to Sara’s live performances helped me process the loss of my father, and brought back some warm memories and a renewed interest in my roots in Portugal. It became the subject of a whole series of work, which I published entitled ” À Janela – The Poetic Soul” Most of these paintings shown here at the Firehall Arts Center are from this series. What an honour it is to be invited to show along with this fantastic play, so close to my heart, by Elaine Avila, which features my friend Sara Marreiros as the ghost of Amalia, and Dan who plays beautiful Fado guitar, as well all the cast together bring on a strong performance.

Artist Bio

Maria Miranda Lawrence has passion for preserving quiet and inspirational moments in time through her distinctive portraits, fine art, and illustrations. Her expressive style captures the likeness in portraits, the essence and beauty in nature, dance or music through a variety of drawing and painting media including sculpture.

At the age of three, she and her mother arrived from the Azores to join her father who was working in Kitimat, B. C. From a young age she was noted for her drawing ability.  Scholarships enabled her to attend Kootenay School of Art in Nelson, B. C. where she graduated with a Fine Arts diploma.  There she met her husband and after six years there, moved to Vancouver Island.

In 2005 Maria Miranda Lawrence received an invitation from the Azores government to her birth island, S. Miguel, Azores along with others Azorean artists, musicians, and writers from North and South America.  The program demonstrated the richness of the arts and culture of the Azores.  A special edition book and musical CD publication resulted from this shared experience and contributions.

This wonderful event inspired her own unique project, ” À Janela – The Poetic Soul” which won the top Azores government grant in 2011. The series included contributions of poetry and lyrics from celebrated Portuguese writers and portraits of singers to illustrate the classical window theme and is presented in English, with Portuguese written poetry and Its English translation.

In 2006, Maria Miranda Lawrence was the recipient of the Canadian national COPA award for outstanding achievement in Canadian and Portuguese Arts and Culture.

She works in her Victoria studio, welcomes commissions and opportunities to exhibit her art.

For more of her work, and contact, visit her website at

Image: “Sun and the Moon”