Working across painting and assemblage, Marikit Santiago (b. 1985, Australia) draws on a rich array of sources – borrowing from Australian and Filipino contemporary culture, Western Art Canon, as well as biblical symbology. Her work employs traditional figurative oil techniques alongside unconventional mark-making of pyrography, combined with playful collaborations with her children’s drawings.
Santiago interrogates and critiques the tensions that exist between her intersecting social, cultural and religious experiences. Through her practice, she considers the ways in which her Filipino heritage and Australian nationality intersect with her socially assigned roles as a woman and mother, and how these are framed within the context of being raised within the Catholic faith. Through the articulation of her own experiences, Santiago’s works reflect the simultaneous acceptance and rejection of her interweaving ethnic, cultural and social identities. They expand on a multigenerational tradition of story-telling, in hopes of passing down Filipino culture to her own children who are being raised within a contemporary Australian context.
Santiago currently lives and works in Sydney. Her selected exhibitions include: Bayanihan Philippine Art Project, Art Gallery New South Wales, Blacktown Arts Centre, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Mosman Art Gallery and Peacock Gallery, Australia (2017); New Sacred, Mosman Art Gallery, Australia (2018) ; I LOVE YOU MELISSA, The Lock Up, Australia (2018); Mahal, Firstdraft (2018) and Everyday Madonna, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (2019).
Santiago is the winner of the 2020 edition of the Sir John Sulman Prize, and has received the Sam Whiteley Commendation Award, Churchie Emerging Art Prize, Institute of Modern Art, Australia (2018); and was a finalist for the Archibald Prize (2016), and the Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia (2019). She is the guest judge of the 2020 edition of the Young Archie Award.