Icon Image: BluImage: Sebastian Di Mauro, $5 (from the GREENBACK series), 2018, US military blankets, cotton tread, 80 x 60 inches (203.2 cm x 152.4cm).rb
GREENBACK explores Sebastian Di Mauro’s recent experience of relocation (from Australia to the United States), a move which echoes his grandparents’ earlier emigration from Sicily to Australia (1900-1920). In this new work, Di Mauro has appliquéd and embroidered green US-military issue blankets with representations of the culturally significant buildings used on US ‘greenback’ dollar notes. These works embrace the country’s quilt-making traditions while also observing the differing cultural mores so visible to Di Mauro as a new resident. Six works describe buildings that are amongst America’s most significant. The Lincoln Memorial, The White House, and The Capitol are used on the US$5, $20, and $50 notes; yet their architectural elements also evoke Di Mauro’s Italian heritage in the columns, arches and domes adapted from Renaissance traditions. In the use of blankets for this work, Di Mauro expresses, with significant power, his experience of immigration in a material that symbolizes the human need for warmth, nurture and protection in a way that is both physical and cultural.