Testimonies

Alain Boucheron

Alain Boucheron

"Through the eyes of Maria João Bahia... "

For the pieces gathered in this exposition, Maria João Bahia found her inspiration in a never-ending source: the planet itself. She chose to observe the four elements: water, earth, air, fire, capturing their energy and translating it into the language of aesthetics that is her own. Thus, her gaze is far more than an act of observation; it is an opening to the vibrations of matter and light. With gold, pearls, coral, it raises harmonies that find resonance in all of us.
Maria João Bahia was born to shapes and volumes. At twenty she abandoned university to integrate a jewellery workshop. Her sensitivity to the universe soon meant exhibitions in numerous countries, including the United States.
Nothing is innocent, Maria João Bahia is a woman. Creative woman jewellery are rare. Some, like Jeanne Toussaint or Gabrielle Chanel, marked their time and continue to inspire contemporary jewellery. I also rejoice that - man or woman - genuine creators have the opportunity to express themselves, with the support of professionals and the public.
As a jeweller, one thing strikes me: these pieces are valuable items that one can acquire as such, while also being highly portable jewels for any elegant and refined woman. This jewellery is modern, because it is timeless. Nature through the eyes of Maria João Bahia is also a look at the eternal feminine.


Hubert Guerrand-Hermés

​Hubert Guerrand-Hermés

"The road between the project and the result is long" said Molière.

This seems not to be the case of the creations of Maria João Bahia, as her art is in her image, overflowing with elegance, strength, tradition and beauty.
There is no creation, without effort, without work, without questioning: without fearing one's "inner fire". But it must be defined, it must also be mastered, hence the greatness in choosing "Nature" as a theme.
While I contemplate the superb work of Maria João Bahia, I want to tell you that it is religious, she uses her gifts and puts them in the hands of God.
A few years ago, I gave her the "Lucky Bones" of an old African lion she made a necklace for Rosalind, my wife, a true "work of art". She revealed thus to us some of her talents, her acute sensitivity for nuances, her ability to work the material.
I hope you discover in the works of Maria João Bahia, be it jewellery or ornaments, made with single stones or gemstone, gold or silver, like as a prayer, a prayer to beauty.


João Soares

João Soares

President of the Municipality of Lisbon

For an object to rise to the category of jewellery it is not sufficient to be made of noble metals and gemstones. Its excellent results, primarily, from the creative process capable of transforming it into a sublime artefact.
Maria João Bahia is one of those artists whose talent transfigures the materials she works with, to the extent they seem touched by grace. Her work, filled with precious minutiae of true artifice and revealing of creative virtues, can now also be appreciated in this book, intended as an album of memories, capable of focusing our attention on pieces whose beauty will, certainly, travel along the consideration of the marvellous.

in the book 'The Fours elements of nature'


Maria Calado

Maria Calado

Municipality of Lisbon, Councilwoman for Culture

The artistic career of Maria João Bahia, marks, in a very special way, the panorama of the decorative arts and contemporary design. Through a broad and diversified work, this creator of always beautiful and amazing objects - has proven that artistic innovation encompasses both formal innovation and a means of promoting materials and techniques. From the traditional materials of jewellery – gold and silver – she subtly, invents new aesthetic solutions, where the symbolic dimension is very present. With the vision and the low profile of the great artists, she establishes the necessary bridges with other areas and with those who, like her, have the view that art is not only a way of doing, but also a way of thinking and acting about the world.
Therefore, a work that allows for a better understanding of this whole process is a key instrument for Portuguese culture and art. This book, because of its content and the way it is structured is, in itself, another work of art, a beautiful object of Maria João Bahia. The images translate the meaning of a deep relation with nature and life. It is, therefore, with joy, that the Lisbon City Council is associated with this initiative, convinced that the paths of art are part of the city's future.

in the book 'The Fours elements of nature'


Maria Inês Viegas

Inês Morais Viegas

"A continuing tradition with talent and innovation"

I met Maria João Bahia through their artwork, a delightful set of charming symbols that contain the magic and plastic value of a secular art – magic, symbolic and decorative – that the author recreates, giving it a unique expression.
Maria João Bahia draws on the inspiration of jewellery tradition and Portuguese jewellery to create her own route, founded on new words, exploring the wealth of noble materials. All objects are closely linked to her talent and sensitivity, by the way she works metals and stones, chromatically mixing them with wood, crystals, pearls or bone in an intimate relationship between the piece and the purpose for which it is intended. I am struck by the authenticity and simple learning of her work through an indifferent look at the superfluous the author reveals. The jewels fascinate those who contemplates them, recreates, uses, collects, just as they intend to communicate through these precious and captivating testimonies. Chosen from the originality and creativity criteria associated with the four elements of nature – water, fire, earth, air – these images stress the richness of expression of the art of Maria João Bahia, thanks to their professionalism, talent and dedication, presenting them from a cultural and intellectual perspective.

The objects are timeless, by the versatility of their forms, but revealing of a present time, characterized by the revaluation of the decorative arts. The jewellery represents of the most unique artistic expressions in Portugal and the work of Maria João Bahia translates its best contemporaneity, reflecting a time and a society that comprises the historical, social, cultural and economic aspects of this art, in addition to fashion, devotion and fascination.

in the book 'The Fours elements of nature'


Simonetta Luz Afonso

Simonetta Luz Afonso

"Maria João Bahia, Magic stones and colours"

Maria João Bahia is a multifaceted and complete artist who has had a very coherent evolution and path since her first creations in the world of jewellery and art objects in 1985, the year she set up her first workshop. Although she was born in an artistic environment marked by the figure of her father, the sculptor Charters de Almeida, she wanted to trudge "the hard way", along with her initiation to law, not forgetting attendance of renowned workshops of jewellery and goldsmith, receiving, with commitment, intelligence and humility the teachings of the old goldsmith with whom he worked side by side and that transmitted secular knowledge and little "secrets" which she knows so well how to use in the materialization of her creation, and that makes her unique pieces. Her work their vast knowledge and control of the techniques of jewellery and goldsmith are reflected in her work, where she puts them at the service of her boundless creativity, managing to materialize her dreams, producing them herself with formal rigour, technical quality and aesthetics, a lightness, a perfection and an elegance worthy of the ancient tradition of the great Portuguese Goldsmith, widely recognized internationally. Maria João Bahia has also a profound knowledge of the materials she uses, of the noble metals and precious or semi-precious stones, whose shapes and colours she so beautifully combines in its creation, calling up the light of her objects and making them radiate that same Light. Visiting her workshop is like stepping into Alibaba's cave, from the imaginings of our childhood, transporting us to a world of magic of stones and colours! Her pieces, whether jewellery, trophies, medals, everyday objects or accessories are true sculptures, of a timeless modernity and of an aesthetic quality and elegance that one wants to appropriate, to use and to delight the eye, ours and that of others...

Celebrations of the Year of Portugal in Brazil.


Nuno de Mello Bello

Nuno de Mello Bello

General Consul of Portugal, Rio de Janeiro

We are pleased, that as part of the celebrations of the Year of Portugal in Brazil now, we associate the Consulate General of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro to the exhibition/ show "Between Earth and Heaven" of the prestigious Portuguese jeweller Maria João Bahia.
The Year of Portugal in Brazil now – initiative aimed above all at representing an opportunity to update reciprocal images, promote cultures and economies of both countries and strengthen ties between the two societies – has in recent months, provided to the public of Rio de Janeiro the possibility of taking part in a variety of Portuguese cultural representations and so to get to know and become aware of the national cultural dynamism.
The exhibition/show "Between Earth and Heaven" of the jeweller Maria João Bahia is perfectly encompassed in this objective and is an opportunity to exhibit, in the San Clemente Palace, the best and most modern that is made in Portugal in a tradition of immemorial craft, such as jewellery.


Miguel Horta e Costa

Miguel Horta e Costa

General Commissioner of Portugal for the Year of Portugal in Brazil

The realization of the Year of Brazil in Portugal and the Year of Portugal in Brazil began on the 7th September and ends on 10th June, 2013. This important event provided an exceptional opportunity to upgrade the reciprocal images, promote cultures and economies of both countries and strengthen ties between civil societies.
The Year of Portugal in Brazil translates into a vision of a modern Portugal, creative and innovative, combining the cultural and economic aspects. This initiative was conceived as a partnership between entities and public and private stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic.
The exhibition "Between Earth and Heaven", which features, in Rio de Janeiro, the art of Portuguese jewellery by the hands of Maria João Bahia, fits precisely into this spirit.
In these pieces, by one of the most original authors of Portuguese jewellery, is also a bit of this modern Portugal, perhaps less known to the majority of Brazilians, that we are trying to show in this Year of Portugal in Brazil. This exhibition is above all an invitation to discover the art of modern Portuguese jewellery.


Jorge Quintas

Jorge Quintas

Nelson Quintas Telecomunicações

I have known Maria João for many years and have always admired her artistic talent, her sense of elegant and traditional art. Maria João has the gift to transform, to create, almost from nothing, a work of art.
Her artistic language reflects her view of the world and nature is her source of inspiration. Her pieces are precious objects that we admire as art pieces and her jewellery is modern and as says Alain Boucheron "is a look at nature and also at the eternal feminine."
Her jewellery made of simple or precious stones, gold or silver, using coral, bone or wood, are timeless and have an intimate relationship with the purpose for which they are intended.
Her professionalism and talent have won her the highest praise and thus she has chosen to create pieces that give the world a vision of what is best made in contemporary Portuguese jewellery. Its various medals, the reliquary of St. Vincent offered to Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Lisbon, the Golden Globes SIC/CARAS, the jewellery collection and silverware order by the Order of Malta in 1998 and many other pieces, are a reflection of public recognition of her fine art and creativity.
The Art of Maria João Bahia is strong, elegant, traditional and still relevant.


João da Câmara

João da Camara

Portuguese Ambassador in Luanda

I have known Maria João Bahia for many years. Because of my nomadic life, we spend a lot of time without meeting.
However, I never lost her from sight and, from a distance, I have followed the evolution of her artistic career.
Based on a huge talent and an obvious talent, Maria João Bahia has, along her professional career created a name and a high quality brand that is now a reference not only in Portugal but also abroad.
As Ambassador of Portugal in Angola, I can only express my pleasure at the opportunity offered to us to have the creations of Maria João Bahia in Luanda. It is a great privilege for the Embassy and its cultural centre to be associated with a display of pieces of such a high artistic value. I am sure that with the art of Maria João Bahia the best of Portugal will be represented in Luanda.