STOARC came into being in mid-2008 with the acquisition of a highly significant and unique collection of work by the Portuguese artist, José dos Santos (1904-96) thanks to the philanthropy of Sydney curator and collector Peter Fay. The collection was assembled by Rogelio Vallejo and Hugh Adams from the artist and his heirs. Dos Santos spent his entire life close to Arega, the small village in which he lived and worked. He could neither read nor write and was completely self-taught as an artist. Yet, in the last years of his life he produced amazing, powerful sculptures. Vallejo has said: ‘I believe that José dos Santos teaches us all much about the nature of creativity, particularly when exercised in adversity. Although knowing nothing about art, he freely and inventively used found materials, giving his creatures expression in a way that is an example to everyone.’

dos santos

Image: José dos Santos, installation views, Callan Park Gallery, 2009 Photo: Colin Rhodes

Other artists represented in the STOARC collection include Leigh Blenkinsop, Slim Barrie, Colin Korovin, Albert Louden, Rosemarie Kocz├┐, Annemarie Grgich, and Gérard Sendrey.