We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Winner: Sir John Sulman Prize 2020

Marikit Santiago The Divine

acrylic, oil, pen, pyrography and 18ct gold leaf on ply

179.5 x 120.5 cm

The Christian doctrine of original sin prompts me to examine the ideals and principles surrounding faith, creation stories, motherhood, cultural heritage and gender roles. These themes frequently inform my work, as my practice negotiates the tensions that exist within my multiple identities as a Filipina, an Australian, as a mother and as an artist.

As original sin is an inherited condition, it provokes the consideration of what is inherited by our children – our physical semblance, virtue, ethnicity, culture and perhaps, indeed, sin.

The Divine portrays my three children, who often collaborate with me in my creative processes; the pen and paint markings in this piece were made by Maella, aged 5; Santiago, aged 3; and Sarita, aged 1.

Marikit Santiago, 2020