An artist is someone who is free, who doesn’t hide behind veils of being politically correct or socially appropriate. An artist is someone fearless who tells the truth. Enrico Santucci is one of those artists who is not hiding behind a veil. Actually, you learn much from Enrico in an hour long visit and he strikes you with his talents, knowledge, honesty and enthusiasm. Enrico has green fingers, too.
Enrico Santucci is originally from Italy and came to Geelong in the 1990s at the time of the collapse of the Pyramids Building Society in Geelong. Enrico has loved Australia since his childhood days in Italy when he would watch TV programs about kids and their activities after school. He learned about Aussie youngsters who surfed after school and his dream became to live and work in Australia. After many years Enrico retired to use his talents in photography and gardening.
As a photographer Enrico likes to shoot landscape and print upon laminated materials in large-format images. I visited Enrico’s home studio near the station in Waurn Ponds in early February. The location is marked by colourful images that adorn panels of the house and garage.
Let me describe Enrico’s house as I find the abode colourful, peaceful and in an even temperature, despite the hot days in Geelong. The photographer doesn’t have any kind of electric cooling. I find that the large printed photos on the blinds give a magical atmosphere of coolness to the house. The verdant garden created by Enrico’s green fingers provides a pleasant view and shade. Enrico likes to print his images on canvas, but also on unusual materials like lamps, garage doors, wall paper and even a surfboard. While contemplating a photo image on a surfboard hanging on the wall, Enrico describes his work. “12 years ago I started laminating landscape images on surfboards and it was a quality idea never done before”. He accepts commissions for work and one such project has been a large landscape scene in Victoria on the front of a house, the client desiring an idea for some privacy.
Enrico is a real artist. He’s never exhibited his photos in a gallery and says “I’m not good in promoting myself”. Enrico is also a true gardener as his home is full of herbs, vegetables and fruit. He never wastes the seeds of produce and explains how I can plant a seed from a fruit I have just eaten.
The photographer has a concern for the environment as he does what he can to be green and to live sustainably. The photographer’s final words are that “knowledge should be shared for survival and development in our planet Earth”. Humans, considered as the most intelligent animal on our planet, are actually a failure. “After all,” he concludes, “we are a creative species but we are using our knowledge as a weapon”.
I left Enrico’s home studio feeling enriched.
Story and photos: Zahidah Zeytoun-Millie