Originally from Holland, Adrian Mauriks currently lives and works in Toowoomba. Although classified predominantly as a sculptor, Mauriks began his creative career as a painter in the early sixties. In the early seventies he developed a necessity to use sculpture as the final visual description of his intentions, for Mauriks' creative process is an ongoing gathering of ideas from his previous work.
"Altar" (1982) explores personal and social issues relevant to the artist. The lower portion of the sculpture alludes to man's creative, procreative and spiritual potential. The upper section deals with the repressive forces which deny man's ability to realize these potentials. The featureless figure on the swing, the focus of the work, placed within a cage-like enclosure epitomises the human condition where freedom metaphorically is limited to the arc of the swing.
The sculpture is constructed so that each symbol opens the way to the next until the utterly simple revelation of the ultimate meaning. The materials were carefully chosen so that they reinforce the symbolic and spiritual meaning of the work. Metal and wood combine to create visual tensions which parallel the spiritual dilemma evoked by the figure on the swing. The vertical sweep created by the legs, stairs and the metal objects in the upper level clash with the horizontal planes of the spiral, the altar base and the altar itself.
Although Mauriks develops his ideas initially through paintings and provides a frame reference in which he constructs his three-dimensional pieces, he dose not exhibit them together. Once completed, the sculptures then provide the stimulus for the next cycle of work. "Altar" thus constitutes a milestone in his creative activity and also embodies through its very rich symbolism and visual qualities Mauriks' attempt to break out through his art the very constraints that the figure on the swing represents.
Lynette Shananhan, 1984
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