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Different Strokes

Marigold Santos is a multidisciplinary artist exploring notions of—and the tensions between—diaspora and selfhood, with a background in printmaking, painting, tattooing and more. She sees her varied pursuits as “interconnected mediums that inform each other.” Santos let us explore her Calgary heritage-building-situated studio to glimpse the day-to-day items that shape her work and world.



Different Strokes - FeatureImage_Photo-with-painting-related-items-and-books
  • Brushes “I paint with really small or really big brushes—there’s no in-between. This is reflected in my work. There are massive sweeping marks, but then there are also teenytiny details. I like the tension of working at different scales; they require different endurances and provide different results.”
  • Painter’s Tape “Purely practical, it may be representative of how detail-oriented I am—and the boundless creativity that can happen between the borders. This particular tape is my favourite. The right amount of tackiness. Can’t work without it. I don’t even know the brand; my husband gets it for me. He’s my supplier!”
  • Mini Scaffold “This scaffold is integral to everything I do in my studio. A lot of my work is on a large scale, so I need it to create. It’s used as a platform or even a seat from time to time. I like that it is proportional to me; I’m kind of a mini person, so it’s nice to have a mini scaffold.”
  • Books “The books are particular to my heritage, about traditional weaving, embroidery, textiles and pre-colonial ways of thinking. As a person of a diaspora, I don’t have the opportunity to be directly connected to my culture all the time. I still link to the Philippines through my parents, but these are a way for me to be tethered to my culture and provide a different aspect of learning.”
  • Black Ink “Black is a very important visual component of my work—in every discipline. There are a lot of light and fluid colours, but also a lot of heavy, solid black shapes that make a grounding place for the eye. I use black both as a focal point and a foundation.”
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