Joshua Santospirito is a musician and a visual artist.
Joshua grew up in suburban Melbourne, has lived in Sydney, Alice Springs and Hobart where he now lives with his wife Nadine Kessler (or go to her art site) and their veggie patch. He brews beers, ciders, perries, fruit-wines and preserves apricots … he also eats them. He has worked in mental health as a nurse for a number of years, working in Central Australian Aboriginal communities and in Hobart, Tasmania. In 2013 they started San Kessto Publications together.
Josh has creating comics for a number of years. His graphic novel – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs was published in 2013 and can be bought from San Kessto Publications. This book was adapted from the 2004 essay of the same name by Craig San Roque about the psychology of cultural group behaviours. Josh saw this graphic novel as a brilliant synthesis of his experience working in mental health in Central Australia and his love of art, comics and anthropology. The book has been extraordinarily popular amongst a broad range of people, the most surprising fact is perhaps that the majority of these fans are not regular comic-readers. It is currently in its second print-run in its first year of publication. In July of 2013, it was reviewed Ronnie Scott in the Weekend Australian.
Another large-scale comic project is Sleuth - an ongoing multi format experimental series exploring spirituality in modern Australia which often takes the guise of an art exhibitions with comics spattered across walls, sometimes in print form, in future it will also have short animations. In 2013 Josh also commenced curating a series of booklets by Tasmanian-based comic-practitioners in a project called Down There. They are small, handsomely made comics printed by San Kessto Publications 2-3 times per year. Josh’s shorter comics can also be bought from San Kessto Publications.
Josh is currently working on another two graphic novel projects.
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 the MONA FOMA (2010 and 2013), Wide Open Space (2008, 2009, 2013), Forest Festival (2012) and played concerts all over Australia. DWT has also had two European tours – travelling to Berlin (2008, 2012), Switzerland and Spain (2012). More information and videos of Drive West Today can be found at the Music Page of this site.
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
2013, May – The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Santospirito and San Roque present the original art of Josh’s at Watch This Space in Alice Springs, with a book-launch at the opening on the 10th of May.
2012, November – Sleuth – Inflight Art Gallery (Hobart). Comprising numerous series of comics intersecting across the walls of the Paddy Lyn memorial space detailing an animistic reinvigoration of the Australian landscape.
- April 2012 – Its my party and I’ll die how I want to, social engagement artwork with Sara Wright, Nadine Kessler, Dr Bruce Wilson at MoMa.
- December 2010 – 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.
- December 2008 – Respond with Nadine Kessler as part of the Container Project, Taste Festival Tasmania, organised by 6a and Inflight ARI.
Comics & Zines
- The Long Weekend in Alice Springs. Full length graphic novel based on Craig San Roque’s academic essay.
- Sleuth 1 – zine produced from a larger body of work from the exhibition in Nov 2012.
- The Bluebaggers 2012 – Carlton Blues zine
- I wanna be a travella #1, 52 page comic-zine, 2012.
- The Barbarians zine made on the set of the IHOS production at MOFO 2012.
- Contributor to “Our time will come” zine #2, 2011.
- Chugnut zine #1 2011 – Group zine distributed nationally and digitally.
- History Volume 1-4 – 2008 to present – Distributed nationally.
Josh has released seven albums under the 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
Aussie COMIC LINKS
I am vaguely a member of this bunch – Chugnut Collective
Chris Downes - A Tennessee native in Tasmania
Pat Grant - extraordinary comic-er
Jo Waite – is she an owl?
Bernard Caleo - purveyor and producer of fine comic-scenes
Bobby N – please read his Digested series … or anything by him
Mandy Ord - top comic-er from Melbs – very fine stuff inDEED!
Arran McKenna - smart-arse EXTRAORDINAIRE!
Maude Farrugia - Really nice drawer
Andrew Fulton - my fave
Sam Wallman – totally yag!
Hamishi – quite strange
Marc Pearson – particularly amusing stuff
Rebecca Clements - very swish … very swish
Adi Firth - does a cracking comic about being a mother – really funny / heartbreaking / etc
Dave Mahler – does some great comics and animation too … do look!
The Comic Spot - radio program on 3CR in Melbourne, hosted by John Retallick, Bernard Caleo and Jo Waite
David Hales - does a great erotic graphic novel called Double Trouble
MUSIC and ART LINKS
Matt Warren - Hobart
Anthony Magen - Melbourne
Sound Klub - Hobart
Hobart Improvisational Collective
The Silent Hour - Sydney
Nadine Kessler - Hobart
Inflight Artist Run Initiative – Hobart
MONA FOMA - Hobart
Wide Open Space - Alice Springs, NT
Forest Festival - Northern Tasmania
Watch This Space - Alice Springs, NT
Die Junge mit der Trompete - Basel, Switzerland
Make It Up Club - Melbourne