Art Residency • Andrea Santolaya



Throughout my career I have established a particular language with a special interest in portraying small communities where timelessness has been a common ground. From the Mikhailovsky Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, to the Warao ethnic group in the Orinoco river in Venezuela. From the boxing world in New York, USA to the centenary rugby team Biarritz Olympique in France. My photographic work suggests a dialogue with the viewer and shows the intimacy of the places and characters that inhabit the story, the touch of men and the struggle in their natural environment over time.

The lighthouse is a link between land and sea. Transmitting information to the sailor is essential and guides him throughout the night to reach for a safe harbor. Both the lighthouse keeper and the photographer use light and time to generate a message.

However, a lighthouse has no meaning without the figure of the lighthouse keeper, who carefully articulates the luminous language to guide his navigators. Talking about lighthouses is talking about isolation, melancholy, imagination and legend, but above all it is about safety for sea men.

What does it mean to have the power of light at the most Westernpoint of the European continent? What happens when the ocean is the only element that involves a population? What happens when the nearest land is 1375 km away? What does it mean to be isolated when a person lives on an island? Because, after all, my research revolves around the sublime and the enigma of living in an archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic.
Photography: Alvaro Laiz
Arquipélago – Centro De Artes Contemporâneas

Andrea Santolaya (b. Madrid, 1982) earned her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York where she also worked for Manolo Valdes photographing his monumental sculptures in NYC. Previously, she photographed the Making of the film “The Honour of the Wronged” by artist Carlos García-Alix.

She has published the Making of “Looking for Felipe Sandoval”, T. Editions, “Manolo Valdés. Sixteen Sculptures in New York” with TF Editions, “Around” with La Oficina Editions and “Manolo Valdes. Botanical Garden in New York with La Fabrica Editions. This book earned the 1st Prize for best art publication 2014 by the Ministry of Culture and Sports in Spain.

Andrea has exhibited in Spain, Italy, the United States and Venezuela. Her first individual exhibition on Women Boxers “Around” was at Marlborough Gallery in Madrid as part of Photoespaña Festival 2011. In 2012 she opened her solo show “And when I opened my eyes. They were already there” at Freites Gallery in Caracas, Venezuela. In 2014 she opened “Cartes de visite” at Palau de la Música in Valencia and “Waniku. Where water rumbles” at Mondo Galeria in Spain.