Archive for November, 2009


November 10, 2009

Emmanuel Santos (b. 1957)

Emmanuel Santos








1957           Born in Philippines

Emmanuel Santos began his photographic career working for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as a photo essayist specialising in areas of ethnology, spirituality and social documentary. In 1982 he migrated to Melbourne and is now a renown photographic figure. He took a particular cultural interest in the Jewish community in Melbourne and across the globe.  His impassioned ability to mirror their spiritual and cultural worlds through photography has earned him their eternal respect and acclaim. He has undertaken extensive travels around the world documenting Jewish Life, from Orthodox inner circles to contemporary cosmopolitan Jews.

He has exhibited work documenting Jewish Life, including his renowned ‘Observances’ collection, in a myriad of places such as the Chernivtsi, Ukraine, Sao Paolo & Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Jerusalem, Israel, as well as both Span Galleries & the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne.

Santos’ universality and humanitarian approach to life has earned him the trust of other community groups including a particular Indigenous community in Cape York, Queensland, the Aurukun people. In 1993 he had the rare and intimate privilege to be invited to witness and capture on film a sacred ceremony in the community.

This unique and vivid glimpse into the Aurukun community, entitled ‘Sacred Dance Series’,  has also been exhibited widely across the world. In France it was shown at Salle Jean Despas, Place des Lices in Saint Tropez, the Australian Embassy in Paris & at the Cannes Film Festival. It has also been shown at the Museum of Art in Belgium, as well as Obscura Gallery & the Alliance Francaise in Melbourne.

All cultures, all regions and all people are of interest to Santos and form the impetuous for his life’s work. His most acclaimed photographic series to date, ‘The Passing of Light’,  is a continuous project that was developed through years of study into ancient and sacred texts, such as the Book of Illuminations.

In ‘The Passing of Light’, Santos retells the narratives of the angels in these texts. Through his extensive travel, he is able to situate his angels in the most extraordinary backdrops, sometimes recreating the past, sometimes bringing his angels into the present.

Santos has exhibited this collection at Monash Gallery of Art  and Obscura Gallery in Melbourne, Silverlens Gallery in Manila, and has just completed a traveling tour of the works in Beijing, Basel, Manila, Milan and Prague. An entire edition of this series, which so far consist of 38 works, also sold in full at Christie’s Auction House, Hong Kong, setting the record for Philippine contemporary photography and Southeast Asian photography.

Galleries and institutions world wide have sort to hold his work in their permanent collections. These include Museum of Art, Ukraine, Musee d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaisme  & Bibliotheque Nationale de France, France, Diaspora Museum,  Israel, Orthodox Union, New York,  Jewish Museum of Australia, State Library of Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria,  Victorian Arts Centre, Immigration Museum  & The Holocaust Centre, Melbourne, as well as both the National Library of Australia & the Parliament House permanent Art Collection, Canberra.



Featured Events

More About Santos



November 9, 2009

By Lisa Monique

Published: November 10, 2009 

Elle Zoltak at Art for Science 






Art for Science raises funds for the Murdoch Children’s Institute of Research and fashion for artists, collectors, galleries and corporate Australia.

48 of Australia’s star artists donated a piece of their work for the cause, which were auctioned off at Nellie Castan Gallery in Melbourne’s South Yarra. Over 350 people attended the event, which raised $430,000 for the institute.

Elle Zoltak, Gallerist and in-house Designer for Nellie Castan Gallery, gives us the glorious inside perspective to the event.

Nellie Castan Gallery was very generous to host this event. What went into it in terms of planning?

The Murdoch Institute, which is made up of a committee of volunteers, do most of planning for this event. They get in contact with artists, they organise the catalogue, the auctioneer and auction process, the pricing, the guest list, as well as the hanging and lighting of the exhibition. Nellie donated the space for the event, as well as staff and time. We gave a lot of logistical direction.

And the event itself, what was the buzz like?

Very glitzy and glamorous. The crowd was very stylish and it was hard to know what the auction was about. Was it about the art, the clothes, the fashion, or the charity?

It looked like everyone was having a blast, were there any memorable moments?

The event started upstairs as an auction. Guests arrived at 7.30 and the auction began at 8.30. It was moved along quickly, so by 10pm the guests we encouraged to move downstairs into the warehouse car park, which was transformed into a night club. There was a dance floor, band and two bars, all sponsored by The Big Group, which is one of Melbourne’s finest catering companies. We had cocktails, French champagne, everything was sponsored!

Any fun on the dance floor?

I don’t want to name any names, but one of the artists, when he gets drunk,  likes to do the splits, so of course that was the highlight of the night – splits on the dance floor!


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In terms of the auction, were a lot of the bidders art collectors?

Yes, many were regular collectors. There were also people who don’t usually by art, but that have a lot of money. These ones will collect big brand names, like Bill Henson and David Bromley. They wouldn’t risk an unknown. For them it’s more about showing off and about the labels – just like the clothes!!

Do you think the current economic climate has influenced people’s charitable tendencies?

It’s hard to say, because they raised more money than ever this year. The committee was nervous about it, but they were blown away by the amount of support for the charity. People’s attitudes where ‘it’s for charity, it’s for charity’ and ‘what’s another $1000’. It didn’t end up being an issue.

And lastly, which was your favourite piece of art on the night?

My favourite piece was a Song Ling.  He’s represented by Niagara Galleries.  It was a gorgeous painting of an Anime style girl in a bright yellow raincoat. I’m surprised it didn’t go for more. I think the auctioneer hit the hammer too soon, he could have milked it for more.

Related Links

Art for Science Catalogue

Elle Zoltak

Suzi Carp

Robert Doble

David Bromley

Bill Henson

Emily Floyd

Viv Miller

Kate Just

Ash Keating

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Nellie Castan Gallery - Mark, Nellie, Elle, Leonie & Olivia
Nellie Castan
The Auction upstairs in the gallery
The Party downstairs in the car park
The Splits! 

Digital vs Drawing

November 2, 2009

Artinfo annouces that British artist, Alan Kane, has created a new show to air on Channel 4 in the UK. It is a life drawing class broadcast digitally on television.








Life Class: Today’s Nude, features nude models, as well as an art expert offering tips throughout the program. Home viewers are encouraged to sketch and draw at home.








Kane’s impetuous for creating the show was to inspire people to bring art back into their lives and using the television he will reach a large audience base.









Another aim is the fact that drawing has declined worldwide, especially in schools and is

rapidly being replaced by digital and computer-based art

So the irony is – Kane is using digital media to promote drawing.








Life Class is also making use of the best online format for sharing digital images – flickr. Viewers and drop-ins are encouraged to post their sketches on the official Life Class flickr page, as well as tag their work to show which episode it was from.

lifeclss flickr










There is also the option to watch the episodes online, but unfortunately not in my area. Nothing was found on youtube either. Please enjoy this East Sydney Academy of Art youtube clip on the wonders of lifedrawing – created on the iPhone, of course.

iAfrica, uCurate: Minneapolis Institute of Art gives you art on your iPhone and wants you to curate their African Art Collection

November 1, 2009

In conjunction with their upcoming exhibition, “iAfrica: Connecting with Sub-Saharan Art”, the Minneapolis Institute of Art [MIA] have created an iPhone application to allow visitors to handle the sacred and ancient art objects in the digital world. The application allows users to learn more about the 28 items on display, including the Congolese thumb piano, which can actually be played.


This is the second museum to include an iPhone application as part of their exhibition program. The first was the Brooklyn Museum, with the  Brooklyn Museum Mobile Collection. While having mixed reviews, this iPhone app is more of a general tool for getting to know the museum.  The application offers visitor information, a keyword or artist name search function to browse the collection, as well as a “randomize” feature that calls up random artworks from museum collection. There has been much question of its efficiency as an application, with various freezes and crashes reported. Overall however, this as well as MIA’s iPhone application, bring museums into the 21st century and draw in new audiences that perhaps would otherwise never enter a gallery.

MIA is also asking visitors to the exhibition to curate the future Africa galleries via their iPhone. Of course non-iPhone users and iPhone freeze and crash victims can take the survey on the gallery’s computer or their home computer.

Read some more on MIA’s iPhone appplication