Cristiana is a Brazilian, born in the city of Salvador, a historical region of mysticism and diversity. The syncretism of cultures and religions from European, African and indigenous peoples have shaped her perspectives. Her work evolved from a fascination with African art and the influences of growing up in a sixteenth-century port city. Being away for many years has flamed her desire to create an artistic archive reflecting her cultural heritage for others to appreciate.
Her ceramic pieces are mostly symbolic objects in various scales, vessels, totems, and tiles. While creating, she looks for aesthetic relationships between her sources of inspiration. Clay has been the best medium for her to express this dynamic union. She employs labor-intensive surface treatments by using textures, organic shapes, distorted masses and blended colors. She is constantly experimenting with layers of glazes that are fired many times to create a unique palette. Recently, she has been observing nature and feeling an intimate connection with flowers. Her floral interpretations are shaped and glazed to symbolically fuse my inspirations from the garden, the ocean, and her heritage. She intends to make the viewers observe, celebrate and contemplate her artwork as the best language of union between her and her culture.
In Brazil, she graduated with a degree in architecture, which she feels gave her a good foundation as an artist. She then moved to the United States in 1999. At the University of Tulsa, she attained a BFA in 2006, and an MA in 2009, both in printmaking. In 2013, she obtained an MFA in ceramic arts. Currently, she is a ceramics faculty at The University of Tulsa and art appreciation at Tulsa Community College. She is also a teaching artist at the Gilcrease Museum. She periodically teaches workshops at Waterworks Art Studio.
Click here to watch an interview with Cristiana.