Santina Amato Horses Shed Their Tails Once A Year In The FallOpening: Tuesday 29 November, 6-8pm Dates: 29 November–17 December 2011
A universal symbol for childhood and heavily surrounded by nostalgia, Santina Amato’s initial attraction to the carousel was to explore how she could intertwine a child-like aesthetic into society’s perspective of feminine beauty, attraction, sexuality and death. ‘Horses Shed Their Tails Once A Year In The Fall’ draws from the sensorial experience of the carousel and is the artist’s first solo exhibition since recently returning from a three month research trip in the USA where she volunteered at an antique carousel restorer’s studio in California.
Amato’s work adopts a deceptively childlike charm, logic and aesthetic, combining performance video, sculptural elements and found objects to transport the viewer into a feminine surrealist wonderland; a fairytale-esque environment where reality is questioned and fantasy becomes the norm. The result is a sculptural redefinition of the moving image. Amato is collating her research and experiences of the carousel on her artist blog www.myyearincarousel.blogspot.com, which is quickly becoming a rich resource on the use of the carousel in contemporary western culture.
A recent finalist in the ‘Toyota Community Spirit Travel Award 2011’, Santina Amato is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts and has secured a position at Victoria University’s 2012 ‘Artist Summer Residency Program’ in Melbourne, Australia. In 2012 she will be returning to the States to participate in an international artist-in-residence program at NARS Foundation in New York, where she will be continuing her investigation into the carousel. Santina spent most of 2010-11 volunteering at and participating in contemporary art fairs, performance festivals, non-profit art institutions and commercial galleries within the USA. She has participated in artist-in-residence programs in China and the USA, won travel grants from organisations such as the ‘Ian Potter Cultural Trust’ fund, become a finalist in a number of contemporary art awards nationally and internationally and exhibited in Australia, Europe, China and the USA.