Maria Teresa Freitas Xavier

Maria at work in her studio
Maria at work in her studio in Australia. She is making a crocodile, a symbol of the land of Timor Leste.
Image: Elizabete Gomes
Source: Maria Teresa Freitas Xavier

I was born in Lospalos and fled my homeland in 1975, taking up residence in Melbourne.

I am an artist and clay is my creative medium. In my studio at the back of my home, I create model houses typical of Lospalos. I decorate the houses with symbols that were used by my ancestors for centuries. I pay homage to my ancestors by preserving these memories on my work.

I have travelled back to my homeland several times, drawing inspiration from the time spent there to create my pieces in Australia.

I enjoy keeping my culture alive and sharing it with my children and my community.

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Maria at work in her studio in Australia