Mariana Santos Lima: Breathing New Life into Tradition

Art — 05.03.24

Photos & Writing: Olga Shatokha

Mariana Santos Lima is a Portuguese artist who incorporates her unique touch into the sculptures of Our Lady of Fátima, honoring the Virgin Mary’s appearances before three peasant children in Portugal in 1917. With a background in glass sculpture and painting, Mariana’s journey began when she felt drawn to embellish a plain Fátima statue, a connection that continues to fuel her creativity today.


Mariana’s Fátima statues are anything but ordinary; they have unconventional elements like Lego pieces, mushrooms, symbols of Brazilian football teams, Peace sign necklaces, and even tiny Buddha heads, reflecting her interpretation of spirituality, femininity, and motherhood. Each statue is a one-of-a-kind creation, with Mariana never repeating a design.


In her studio, whimsy meets nostalgia, with remnants of her daughter’s childhood art projects mingling with eclectic decor. This creative space serves as a sanctuary for Mariana’s artistic endeavors.


Mariana finds inspiration in her travels: Gardens of Japan, streets of Brazil, and memorable encounters like a flock of flamingoes in Mexico.


Mariana’s statues are symbols of spirituality transcending dogma. Through her sculptures, tradition finds new expression, and we receive an invitation to see beauty in unexpected connections and contemplate how an open mind paves the way for unity.

Follow Mariana Santos Lima’s work through her Instagram.