You feel in the moment when you soak in a Patricia Santoso’s artwork. It is playful, spirited, and soulful. Many of the pieces present themselves with a level of levity; the splashes of luminescent blues, pops of pinks, and the whites in-between welcoming your own imagination. There is something else there though; a profound rumination that can hit unexpectedly. These abstract delights appear as synapses sparking something in your mind, reflecting the fluidity of your own personhood.
All of these revelations snap into focus as soon as you’re aware of just who Patricia Santoso is. By day she has chosen to dedicate herself to clinical psychology and helping others navigate their way through personal struggles. Hearing the oftentimes-upsetting stories of those around her never leaves the artist with a bleak outlook on life or on people. When asked about this she said, “I guess I am an optimist. There is so much greatness in people. Even in the darkest of times. In my ‘day job’ I come across a lot sad stories and it can be hard. People always comment on how ‘hard’ my job must be because I hear so much of their troubles, but on the contrary, there is never a time where I think, “Oh gosh, this is just hopeless,” because always the person in front of me shows a part of themselves that is something more than their hardship, or trauma or problems. “
And that shines through much of her work. One of her latest creations reflects this perspective beautifully.
- Dive Deep Into your Darkness, See What’s Growing
- Ink and Resin on Canvas
- 78cm x 94cm (framed)
About the Artwork
Santoso describes this piece as such, “Whilst this artwork appears dark and foreboding, it is a reflection of the work I do as a Clinical Psychologist. “Dive Deep Into your Darkness, See What’s Growing” is about exploring oneself and the fear people tend to have in doing so. It is often the belief that looking into the darkness one experiences is something that will cause more harm. However, the resilience of humanity is almost always apparent. Amazing growth can come from exploring one’s darkness. Growth that is different, better, hopeful and empowering.”
There is soul within it; and that soul contains both depth and brightness.
Santoso has found other ways to meld her work as both artist and psychologist. She is a true believer in the power of community and how as individual members we can be the catalyst for change. Whether your contribution is monetary or otherwise, we can all do something to make the world a little better. In the past she has dedicated both her artwork and time to NFP organisations, and it’s something she continues to be passionate about.
If you’re interested in seeing Patricia Santoso’s work in person, you will have a wonderful opportunity at the Balmain Art + Craft Show, Friday 2nd, 3rd, and 4th of November. The Show is free entry and is held in the beautiful heritage-listed sandstone church and school grounds of Fr John Therry School.