Marikit Santiago: The kingdom, the power brings together recent works by celebrated Western Sydney artist Marikit Santiago in her first solo exhibition in Victoria.
Santiago’s compelling work excavates the complex inheritances of religion, ancestry, and gender as a Filipina-Australian woman, child of migrants, mother, and artist. In monumental allegorical paintings and exquisite votive-like studies, Santiago casts her own family in richly symbolic and dramatic scenes. Weaving together the iconography of the Western art canon and pop culture references, Santiago appropriates biblical narratives and contemporary media to confront personal history and universal themes of transgression, liberation, and reclamation, with tenderness and courage.
The title of the exhibition references a phrase spoken by the congregation during Catholic Mass, which praises God as creator of earth and humankind. In The kingdom, the power, Santiago considers the privileges and obligations of the ‘Eden’ created for her by her parents, who migrated to Australia in the 1980s, and in turn, the world she is constructing for her own children.
Santiago’s figurative painting is both classical and highly contemporary. She blends luscious oil paint and gold leaf with humble found materials, such as cardboard boxes and texta. Her three young children appear not only as cherished subjects in her paintings, but as her artistic collaborators, contributing ever-changing marks within Santiago’s polished figuration.
For more information visit http://www.bendigoartgallery.com.au