Elsa Santos is a Spanish artist born in 1971 in Seville. She grew up with art all around her.
In Andalucía, 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
Elsa trained in the 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 for the BBC.
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.
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 favourite 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
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.