I came across Marigold Santos‘ work after a friend posted she was visiting ODD Gallery in Dawson City, Yukon, where Marigold was exhibiting. On our recent trip to Toronto, I checked out the group show Other Worlds at the Harbourfront Centre, where she was also exhibiting.
A Filipino-born, Montreal-based inter-disciplinary artist, Marigold’s practice involves drawn and printed works, sculpture, animation, and sound. I was immediately drawn to her work in that she explores how “ideas of ‘self’ can become multiple, fragmented, and dislocated and then re-invented and created through a reflection of what is considered ‘home.’ ”
For example, in much of her work, she references the supernatural asuang, a vampire/witch figure from Filipino folklore. As she explains in this article, it’s metaphor for Santos’s own experiences as a new Canadian.
As she says:
Through my imagery, I seek to negotiate the narratives of past and present; in their re-telling and reconfiguring, they transform to become personal myth whose imagery functions in the fantastical and otherworldly. This is the realm of play where I situate my work.
In recent works, the fragmented and multiple self is investigated through a hybridization of Filipino and Western folklore, geological processes, weather systems, Canadian landscapes, decomposition and decay, and coincide with references to childhood games that attempt to connect and communicate with the supernatural to bring what is not of the home, into what is the home – suggesting boundaries crossed in favour of testing limits and gauging what to fear and belief, and how to make sense of the unknowable.