Women in Lighting

R.A.W: Marta Viana

15 January 2021 // R.A.W

R.A.W: Marta Viana

With the continuous passing of the #RAW torch between me and my brilliant colleague Dipali, certainly one thing has come to the surface: light is Expression per se. With various forms, therefore by variegated professionals, it allows to push the limit of imagination, each time a little bit forward. It complements not only the technical and scientific disciplines towards the person-centric well-being, but arts too. Once again through this blog we read about the importance of diversity as a way to thrive and in this regard, I’d like to introduce the work-in-progress of the Portuguese artist, Marta Viana.

Performer, choreographer, film-maker and light technician, she started to experiment with stage lighting whilst getting educated in dance arts. From her Portuguese education in As Razoes do Corpo to Belgium, through Antwerp till arriving at the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, it was impossible not to pay attention to the importance of light, on stage and in everything that involves the process of creation.

 “Bringing ideas, concepts or dynamics from our conscious mind to the concrete world demands light.”

At age 23 Marta arrived in Lisbon, where she attended a professional course as a Stage Technician for performance and events at the World Academy. Organizing, observing and occupying the space together with the familiarity with the body movements led to a career in lighting, right after her professional education.

She started to be a resident in clubs like the Rive Rouge, while creating and presenting in many other venues several artistic performances mixing light and body experimentation. From fully planned to improvised, Marta sees a key value in multidisciplinarity.


Rive Rouge club, Lisbon

Starting with several artistic events, stage performances and music concerts, we can imagine Marta as an “enlightened” art director of endorsed artists, who are followed in each step of their artistic creation: from the movements on their own tunes to the lighting onto their concert stages; from the choreographies to the lighting image.


Concert of Evaya, Porto

Soon she realised that light is also a fundamental feature of filming. Composition, image quality, intention and narrative of the film are all described by the presence of lighting.

With a cinematographic taste, Marta began to shoot music videos for local and international artists.


Light setting for Nigrita music video, Lisbon

To fully interpret her approach to lighting means getting familiar with her dancer’s essence as well. Her studies and works revolve around the concept of what we perceive from our senses is a mirror of what we are. She, in fact, describes herself as a “mover” obsessed with the potential of the body and the possibility of living our lives according to what we wish deep in: practising, teaching, performing and designing are all expressing how magical and sensible is the planet we live.

“Where there is light there is movement and where there is dark there is light for the dark to be perceived in this same way.”


Light installation at Anexo music events, Lisbon

Over the last two years, as a reflection of her versatility, she has carried on a personal project called Unlock Jam Lisboa. A multidisciplinary jam where artists from various fields meet and know each other in action. Improvisation and mutual development are the foundation of this project, while the underlying goal is to overcome and advance with creative understanding.

Suggest and advance with involvement of a culture that has so much information and where the evident association of ideas is a form of power: once again, the power of heterogeneity.


Unlock Jam, Lisbon


Marta refers to her career as a “light path” where, work by work, light is always present even if not noticed, exactly as per the world's most famous lighting designers had taught and suggested.

R.A.W Blogger
Martina Frattura