Sebastian Di Mauro: Surf ‘N’ TurfPosted on in Art
Over summer, highly acclaimed Brisbane artist Sebastian Di Mauro will showcase a playful sculptural installation of artificial plastic grass and colourful neoprene – the rubbery stuff that wet suits are made of.
His exhibition, Surf ‘n’ Turf taps into some of the aspirations of the suburban Australian dream, and acknowledges that a large percentage of the population live on or close to the coast, and that despite being drought-prone, there is a strong desire to create and maintain the evergreen manicured lawn and a ‘little piece of heaven on earth’.
His deliberate use of ‘fake’ grass plays with the concept of seeking greener pastures – a better life, which is what most immigrants who venture to Australia, including his own family, were searching for.
Inspired by the lawn sprinkler and pool paintings of British born artist David Hockney, Di Mauro observed, “Hockney’s early work depicts his experience of living on the west coast [of America]. Many of these paintings depict green manicured lawns, blue water pools and a new way of living to the one he left behind in England.”
The central striking installation in Surf ‘n’ Turf features an undulating artificial turf form, extending from the wall and wrapping outwards onto the floor. Within this structure are patches of blue neoprene and it is these perfect clean pool like shapes, representing the aquatic pride of the backyard, which are the epitome of our desire to reconstruct and control a natural experience with our domestic space.
With a series of neoprene wall sculptures reminiscent of both surf boards and tribal shields, Di Mauro seems to be referencing the real turf wars that take place on the Gold Coast when the surf is up, with hundreds of board riders jostling for position on the popular breaks.
The exhibition is a fitting way to reflect on the experience of summer and is one of the Gallery exhibitions that is a feature of the BLEACH Festival running at the time of the international Pro-Surfing World Tour event on the Gold Coast in March 2014.