Josh Santospirito is an “artist” – Facebook artist page
Joshua Santospirito is a visual artist, an illustrator, a musician and a writer who lives in Hobart Tasmania. He enjoys sitting on his couch and avoiding making art, music or writing.
Josh grew up in suburban Melbourne, has lived in Sydney, Alice Springs. He now lives in a veggie patch in Hobart. He brews beers, ciders, perries, fruit-wines and preserves apricots … he also eats them. He has worked in mental health as a nurse for over a decade in Central Australian Aboriginal communities and in Hobart, Tasmania. In 2013 he started San Kessto Publications together with Nadine Kessler. He is the creator and organiser of Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival – an annual comics and illustrator’s festival in Hobart, Tasmania.
Josh’s comics have been published in Meanjin and Island magazines. His first graphic novel, The Long Weekend in Alice Springs was published in 2013. It was awarded the Chief Minister’s Northern Territory Read Non Fiction Book Award, the ComicOz Award for 2013 and was shortlisted at the 2014 Ledger Awards. In 2015 Swallows part one was released, a graphic novel investigating his family history since migrating to Australia from Italy. Both Swallows and The Long Weekend can both be purchased from San Kessto Publications. He is also the curator of Down There, a series of comics by Tasmanian artists, a side project of San Kessto.
Music and Sound Art
Santospirito has performed his strange and beautiful music since 2005 under the name Drive West Today. This has included playing at various Australian festivals, including MONA FOMA, Dark MOFO, Wide Open Space, the Forest Festival and played concerts all over Australia. DWT has also had three European tours – travelling to Berlin (2008, 2012), Switzerland and Spain (2012) and Finland/Turkey in 2014. More information.
Josh has been active in promoting the experimental music scene in Australia and hosted a radio show focusing on experimental and innovative music on Edge Radio called The Musical Dissidents for 2 years, and he has also been involved in organising and curating Sound Art and experimental music events through Sound Klub in Hobart.
The most reliable way to contact Josh is e-mail – disco_jeans (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au
You could also follow Josh on Twitter Follow @Drivewesttoday
2015, October – Swallows, Museo Italiano, Carlton, (Victoria)
2015, September – Swallows, Tasmanian Writers Centre, Salamanca Arts Centre (Hobart)
2015, April – Sleuth: the Delegation, Tuggarenong Arts Centre (ACT)
2014, August – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Santospirito and San Roque present the original art from the graphic novel, Top Gallery (Hobart)
2014, April – Sleuth: the Delegation, Sawtooth ARI, (Launceston)
2013, May – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Santospirito and San Roque present the original art of Josh’s at Watch This Space (Alice Springs, NT).
2012, November – Sleuth: The Origin – Inflight Art Gallery (Hobart, Tas). Comprising numerous series of comics intersecting across the walls of the Paddy Lyn memorial space detailing an animistic reinvigoration of the Australian landscape.
Select Group Exhibitions
2012, April Its my party and I’ll die how I want to, social engagement artwork with Sara Wright, Nadine Kessler, Dr Bruce Wilson at MoMa.
2010, December – Dog, with Dan Murphy and Craig San Roque at Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs as part of Watching this place organised by Watch This Space Artist Run Initiative.
2008, December – Respond with Nadine Kessler as part of the Container Project, Taste Festival Tasmania, organised by 6a and Inflight ARI.
Awards / Grants / Major Reviews
2013 – Assistance to Individuals Grant from Arts Tasmania
2013 – Major review in The Australian Newspaper Review Magazine
2014 – ComicOz Award for Best Australian Original Comic Book for 2013 – for The Long Weekend in Alice Springs
2014 – NT Read Non Fiction Book Award \ ($2000) – for The Long Weekend in Alice Springs
2015 – Accepted to attend the Comic Art Workshop on Maria Island
Festivals – Writing, sound-art, music and visual art
2009, 2010, 2013 – Wide Open Space
2010, 2013, 2014 – MONA FOMA
2012 – Forest Festival
2013 – Tasmanian Writers Festival
2013 – Dark MOFO
2014 – Director of Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival
2014 – Wordstorm – NT Writers Festival
2015 – Digital Writers Festival
2015 – Director of Her Majesty’s Favourite Really Great Graphical Festival
2015 – Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival
2015 – Melbourne Writers Festival
2015 – Eye of the Storm, NT Writers festival, Alice Springs
Selected Publication History
The Long Weekend in Alice Springs (Sankessto Publications, 2013)
Fluid Prejudice – contributor, (Glass Flag Press, 2014)
Oi Oi Oi #1 (ComicOz, 2014)
Island Magazine #137 2014
Meanjin September 2014
Swallows part one – a graphic novella (San Kessto Publications 2015)
Albums released under the project name of Drive West Today.
- 2003 – the child & the tractor
- 2004 – The balloon
- 2005 – feather
- 2006 – Is this a desert? (reviewed in Cyclic Defrost Magazine)
- 2011 – A shitload less understanding than what is required
- 2012 – Acousmatic Ecology part 1 – a query
- 2012 – pardon? Acousmatic Ecology part 2
A non-exhaustive list of other fellow artists that I reckon are worth their spit