The name Kwadalayo cames from the South African roots of the artist Marisa Martires.
In the Zulu language, “KWA” means “The Place” and “DALAYO” means “Creators”. When placed together, Kwadalayo means “The Creators Place”.


Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, where, as of an early age she demonstrated artistic abilities and passion for the arts. Towards the end of her adolescence, she came to Portugal, where she currently lives in the city of Faro.

PhD in Multicultural Education by the University of Huelva (Spain). Her line of research is linked to the Creative Process in which she constructed the Creative Process Evaluation Scale. Her research on the creative process was conducted over several years through interviews with creative individuals linked to various branches of artistic creativity in Portugal and in Cambodia, where she lived for a year doing her research.

Master in Intercultural Education, she defended the thesis: Cultural Influences in the Drawings of High School Visual Art Students at the University of Huelva (Spain).

She graduated in Communication Design from the University of Algarve (Portugal), and her Bachelor of Design is from the same university.

Professor of Visual Arts with a wide experience in teaching at various levels of education from university to secondary and basic education. She taught at various educational institutions both in Portugal and abroad.

Visual Artist since 2006, year in which she created her acronym Kwadalayo, which emerged from her South African roots. In Zulu, “KWA” means “The Place” and “DALA” means “Creative”. By joining the two we obtain Kwadalayo, which means “The Creative Place”.

Active member of PAS – Peace and Art Society (International Art Association). 

She has participated in dozens of solo and collective exhibits, locally and abroad, and her art works are part of national and international private collections. Her artwork is very diverse.

She has carried out numerous creative works, with youth groups of all ages, creating diverse art works of large dimensions such as painted murals/graffiti, mosaic murals, tile panels, sculptures in various materials, installations, etc. including workshops.

The promotion of the Arts, among the youth, is an important and recurring issue for her.


Her artwork is intensely influenced by her background in Design. Subsequently, this reflects in the importance conveyed to composition and the bearing of a message which are both an essential part of her work, and in this sense, much thought is undertaken by sketching throughout the whole creative process.

Her recent work is greatly influenced by the work of the Dutch artist, M. C. Escher, which inspires her in the use of positive and negative space. Images inside images, like layers, in a non-direct approach, where the viewer can reflect and contemplate upon the message conveyed.

Aesthetically, she likes to take on a more expressive approach which can be observed through the use of lines, washes and inks. She thoroughly enjoys mixing diverse types of media and applying them on unconventional supports for the types of media in question.

In this section …


International Illustration Art Call – 2022

“THE ART BENEATH” Bilingual Poetry Book (Portuguese & English) Information Procedure for Participation in ART CALL: Send your participation request by e-mail to marisa@kwadalayo.com (Marisa Mártires – Kwadalayo Art) so that a poem may be sent to you to illustrate. You will then illustrate the poem received using a two-dimensional art medium / technique (drawing, …

Fresco Painting Workshop

I had the opportunity to learn a new technique by participating in Fresco Painting Workshop at Loulé Criativo | Portugal – SENART The Sky is the Limit. Fresco (plural frescos or frescoes) is a technique of mural painting executed upon freshly laid (“wet”) lime plaster. Water is used as the vehicle for the dry-powder pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting …

Portuguese Traditional Baroque Tiles Workshop

In this workshop I explained to teachers from different countries how to use the traditional technique of painting tiles from the XVII century with blue cobalt pigment, recreating tiles with single drawings of fauna and flora figures as well as typical baroque themes. They followed the processes from designing, to painting and finally, high temperature …