Write-ups and Critiques

Opus Ten

Inter-connectedness. Spiritual linkages. Personal journeys. The Universe. These are the vital concepts from which Adrian Mauriks weaves his tapestry of sculptural expression. Like a playful demigod of a Shakespearian fairyland, the Opus 10 is half human and half spirit, energised by flame, feathered and lotus petalled forms fashioned from discrete black steel plates.

Born in the Netherlands in 1942 and educated at the Victorian College of the Arts, his early work was installation based using multimedia. Next came a series of totemic pieces in wood. Most recently with the discovery of the expressive potential inherent in steel, came the constructions of his present Opus series.

Mauriks begins work with drawings. He collects forms. Defining the direction comes when a particular shape suggests itself strongly. This then may lead off to become the central image. The process follows an organic evolution, directed intuitively to completion by association.

Opus 10 is grand scale and whimsical. Its form confers a potency, at once serene but also benign. Poised on three slim legs it has both elegance and theatre with flares of firelight, clustered like flowers of the field to cloven hooves. And as its armoured body spirals upward and laterally extends wave-like growth into space, its opening out structure with wings, horns and clouds, capriciously interweaving.

But though seemingly committed to a world of seductive, spontaneous illusion, Mauriks makes compelling intuitive demands. Full frontal or sideways the work is Surreal yet Rococo, with movement and wit calculated to overwhelm and challenge by direct emotional appeal. Though fabricated from metal it denies a machine age aesthetic with creative energy suggesting the regenerative forces of Nature, not bound by material but transformed by spirit.

Crisp cut outs, defy laws of the physical plane. His vocabulary is clouds, the Buddha eye, a snake, birds and various plant forms such as the lotus. Their summary simplicity and apparent improvisatory dash, reveal an irreverence for the conventional view. They gesture to landscape of dreams and places where imagination is free to explore mindscapes of past, present and future. Says Mauriks "The space between external reality and that within".

But where does this journey take us? A scanning of internal worlds also determines direction. As metaphor for the Universe, Opus 10 proposes perspectives for the inter connectedness of parts. We see gaps between, room to move, spaces to travel, choices to make. Its both fun and profound. Secret spaces reveal treasures. A gold leaf orb is concealed in the centre of a lotus skirt, and subtle disguises of hidden surfaces in red allude to the rewards of at the end of a rainbow of personal discovery.

His forest of images creates a burgeoning optimism. Ideas are in process of becoming. There is a sense of flow, a gradual shaping of form. Its a private journey where discovery of an experientially uplifting consciousness, a moment of ultimate synthesis is offered as a distinct possibility. The challenge is to define the limits of self. He comments, "I am interested in what it means to be human and what sits at the centre of our outer reality and the inner space of our mind".

Dynamic energies are palpable and ask that considerations of impermanence and insubstantiality of material existence be addressed. He presents a metaphysical maze where from moment to moment a constructed reality as thought alone seems wholly untenable. Mauriks asserts a reality somewhere beyond, one that is alive in the subtle energies of space. It is alluded to as a perfection outside of our view.

Marie Geissler, 1995
Corporate Art Writer
"The Quantas Club"
Arts Journalist "The Business Review Weekly" and contributing editor to Craft Arts International.