Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Art Lives In Memories

Whitsunday local and self-professed ‘Covid-story’, Mary Ann Santin, represents just one of the many cultural additions to the community which has seen our local arts industry continue to flourish in recent years.

Originally from Adelaide, Mary Ann has been a full-time working artist since 2010, with many of her pieces adorning walls, galleries and exhibitions across the world.

Practising in paint and object, Mary Ann is a multi-disciplinary artist who enjoys creating sculptures, drawings and paintings with the forever-running theme of ‘Memories’.

Drawing from her own experiences of loss, widowhood and her ten years writing for the Alzheimer's Association, she reflects on themes of impermanence.

“My material is constantly changing but my themes always surround ideas of loss; life has value precisely because it is transient and impermanent,” she explains.

“Something beneath the surface, messing with that temporal space between being and nothingness.”

Mary Ann loves to use natural objects for her art.

Her work features carved wood, beaten copper, cast cement and recycled orchard netting.

Recently she created artwork for the Royal Adelaide Hospital as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival using a series of repurposed x-rays built into paintings.

She has also experimented with cutting encyclopedias into organic shapes and loves stacking pebbles on beaches.

A lot of her art encourages interaction or introspection from the public and her pieces can be found everywhere from airport terminals to forests.

Most notably, she transformed an old tree, that had been burnt in the 2015 Adelaide fires, into seat size wooden blocks and placed them around a live ash tree near the site.

Since moving to the Whitsundays Mary Ann has been highly involved with local arts projects and curated the Arts Show at last year’s Whitsunday Arts Festival.

She lives in Hyeaway Bay with her partner, Mal, and the couple have just opened ARI (Artist Run Initiative) Whitsundays, an accommodation space for artists to work and become inspired.

Mary Ann offers mentoring and teaching as an option for artists as well.

Artist Mary Ann Santin in front of laser cut copper works. Photo supplied

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