ana+betânia is a duo made up of Ana Cruz and Maria de Betânia, which began in 2012.
Since then they have moved around the restricted contemporary ceramics circuit, through artist residencies, exhibitions and participation in biennials and art fairs.
Working in ceramic sculpture ana+betânia are Ana Cruz and Maria de Betânia (b. 1983). In 2007, after completing their degree in Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, they began working in ceramic sculpture under the institution’s artistic ceramics research programme. Each with their own distinct individual expression, their shared artistic journey began in 2012 as scholarship holders and resident artists at the “Muel Cerámica Viva” event in Zaragoza. Since then they have been working together on a conceptual approach associated with classical sculptural techniques. In 2013 Ana Cruz became the first Portuguese ceramist to become a member of the International Academy of Ceramics and in 2014 they were awarded the 1st Prize at the Bienal d’Esplugues for their piece “In the name of the Father”. In 2017 they were awarded an honourable mention at CERCO Zaragoza. These events reinforced the continuity of this partnership and the need to expand it. After two years as resident artists at the Oficinas da Cerâmica e da Terra in Montemor-o-Novo, they settled in Caldas da Rainha with a solo studio. Their presence in contemporary art, bringing ceramics to new audiences, is cemented by their collaboration with Underdogs Gallery and Galeria FOCO, both of which have a prominent presence in national and international contemporary art. Through these and other collaborations with galleries, ana+betânia has been present at art fairs such as the Istanbul Art Fair, JustMad Madrid and Volta Basel. In 2021, they made a series of 11 pieces for the “Walking Dead Reliquary” project for Fox Portugal, which was shown in various travelling exhibitions dedicated to television productions in the realm of the fantastic. His work, career and vision have been featured in editions such as Vogue, Revista Cristina, Observador Lifestyle, ParqMag, Portuguese Soul and, most recently, in Keramika magazine. The work is mostly figurative, using some traditional ceramic techniques – and the well-known sense of humour of Caldas. However, the concepts developed diverge from contemporary ideas and issues in a way that is both sharp and amusing.