Mary Ann Santin is an Australian interdisciplinary artist who spends her time between arts projects on Kuarna land, Adelaide, South Australia and an artist run initiative on Ngaro and Gia land, Whitsundays, Queensland. Creating installations of paint and object, her work explores themes of memory, loss and the liminality of life.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, her family relocated to South Australia to restore dilapidated Victorian era houses, and it is this passion for renovation that explains much of an artistic interest in reconfiguring and giving new life to the discarded and unwanted.
A year-long exchange to Japan, led her to business studies and a career in marketing, including a postgraduate at NYU, work at London’s DMBB Advertising and at the BBC. On her return to Australia, she worked for the Alzheimer’s Association, promoting recounts of carers’ experiences and literature around memory and loss.
Having these experiences as catalysts, Santin returned to artistic studies and completed a Bachelor of Visual Art at the prestigious Adelaide Central School of Art, and a Master of Visual Art and Studio Practice at the University of South Australia.
Santin has worked on placemaking initiatives and sculpture biennials throughout Australia. The work has featured in public spaces including the Adelaide International Airport, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, on Adelaide's city street verges and in the Australian outback.
She recently established studios in the Whitsundays, Queensland, creating community activations and curating visual art events for the Whitsundays Arts Festival.
Santin is an award-winning artist who has received grants and commissions from a variety of institutions, such as the State Library of South Australia, City of Adelaide, and Whitsundays Regional Council. She was shortlisted for several major art awards in Australia including the SALA Contemporary Art Prize, Waverley Art Prize and is a winner of the Helpmann Academy Award and the Oz Minerals Prize.
Her work has been exhibited in both commercial galleries and institutional museums, such as Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide, and No Vacancy Gallery, Melbourne, the Art Gallery of South Australia and can be found in corporate and private collections around the world.