Elsa Santos is a Spanish artist born in 1971 in Seville. She grew up with art all around her. In Andalucia, her grandfather and father are very well-known sculptors with important works in many public squares, churches and private collections. Her mother is also a practicing artist.
Elsa trained in the very traditional Faculty of Fine Arts in Seville where her father was a Professor in Sculpture. She specialized in painting.
Upon finishing her degree she moved to London for 10 years working in film and television industry as a digital artist creating matte paintings and textures for the Soho visual effects facility Framestore. Her work can be seen in feature films such as Harry Potter, Troy and the Walking With series.
In 2006 Elsa left the UK and moved to Asia where she took up the role of Art Director for two years on Singapore’s first animated feature film, Sing to the Dawn.
In 2008 Elsa settled in Sydney with her husband Matthew and welcomed her daughter Ella into the world. During these early years of motherhood she returned to her traditional arts practice, exploring techniques from her days at University. In 2012 she became an Australian citizen.
Elsa is a gifted drafts-woman and a fine practitioner of traditional techniques, learned in Spain from her family and Faculty. She prepares her own materials and explores the fascinating chemistry of pigments and medium.
Elsa’s favorite way of expression is drawing; through recent years she has developed a technique that allows her to create very precise lines on the surface layer of the painting using an etching needle. Often layer upon layer.
Her main source of inspiration is nature itself, mysterious and organic shapes that seem unplanned but yet so perfect and beautifully fit together. These observations have become visual themes in her image making.
Dreaming and trusting the unconscious mind to wander and explore – as a process, connects her research, images and themes. Much like a musician there is a liberty grounded in improvisation within her practice. A work is often an unknowable journey as it is unclear how things will be revealed when she begins, but the end comes sharply into focus as it draws near.
Elsa has some of her work in private collections in Australia, London and Spain and has participated in a number of exhibitions in these countries.