Sebastian di Mauro

Passage—Recent works on paper

Di Mauro's latest exhibition displays a development and evolution in his approach which relates more to the nature of the human rather than to the relationship between human and nature which was the theme of his earlier work.

The window, or grid, motif is still there but it now represents the individual, or the presence of the artist. The works could be called self-portraits. The grid produces a distancing effect and yet allows one to look past it into another dimension beyond which a multitude of layers and levels enter and exit, entice and repel. Provoking curiosity, these levels succeed in gaining the prolonged attention these works demand.

Viewing this exhibition takes time, time to carefully observe the complex subtleties that exist in each work. To skim over such subtleties is to miss their point, which is to make us aware of the complexities that exist in life, where consciousness confronts material existence.

Di Mauro is rebelling against superficiality and in so doing is asking questions about personal purpose. There is a strong sense of questing in these works. The artist wishes to discover, and to come to terms with suppressed elements in his life. Passage No17 heralds this realisation. Underneath the sombre blue-black colours, intensely brilliant and beautiful blues and greens break through, piercing with quiet joyousness and belief in their own luminous existence. In spite of the looming and repressive darkness of the grid, traces of yellow gleam like a light at the end of a tunnel - a resurrection from hopelessness.

In Passage No19, the use of charcoal and a blurring of the grid's edges to make it less defined, enhance the interior elements and create more of a balance between the forces of darkness and light. It is like looking through dreaming eyes, or a mist - peering into the dark, but seeing possibilities.

Di Mauro realises that although most people have thoughts about life, death and human nature, our commercial/technological society has little use for such speculations, so we bury them.

In these works Di Mauro confronts these issues and allows the speculation to re-emerge. The exhibition is individual and personal, but is, at the same time, a universal representation of that subtle and sensitive aspect of human consciousness increasingly threatened by the crass callousness of a materialistic society.