"FUTURE MEMORIES' an Exhibition of paintings on the nature of Perception and Time by Elio Sanciolo

Published by: Gallery Elysium | 12-Dec-2021
Elio Sanciolo's exhibition at Gallery Elysium in Hawthorn Victoria explores the nature of perception and time through the medium of painting. The works on exhibition consists of twenty five mainly large works on canvas, that exude a bold sense of colour and innate intuitive understanding of structural composition.
Venue: Gallery Elysium
Address: 440-444 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria.
Web: www.galleryelysium.com.au
: https://www.facebook.com/Gallery-Elysium-469830180253443
EMail: elio@galleryelysium.com.au
Elio Sanciolo's current exhibition entitled 'Future Memories', is a departure from his previous work which was more literal in style. His current works are of the metaphorical nature, a shift which is more in keeping with the esoteric nature of the ideas and subject-matter that lie at the heart of this current show.

When asked the reason behind his shift in approach to painting Elio stated; "I use painting as a tool to explore and play with ideas and to connect with culture and history. I do this to discover who and what I am, the nature of the world and my place in it, so as my ideas change, I need to adapt my visual language to express myself...to communicate what I need to communicate. I don't believe in the notion of 'Style" anyway,. Belonging to a so called '"Style" is a prison that Critics relegate artists to.. . I am not a Critic, I paint, so it wasn't a big deal to change my approach from a more literal style to one which is more subjective or metaphorical I just use my technique to serve a new purpose."

As a painter who has always primarily focused on the human form and narratives about the human condition, Elio often wondered about how we, as self-conscious beings, construct our perceptions of the world and our reality. It was this desire to express himself fully that led Elio to the adoption of a new approach that he felt was better suited to the more esoteric or metaphysical nature of the subject matter he was dealing with.

"When I first embarked on the body of work in this exhibition, I tried to find a way to deal with the static two-dimensional limitation of painting and still communicate what seemed to me to be, the dynamic nature of perception and time. To do that, I had to choose a definition of time, that would work well with the confines of the two-dimensional nature of painting...During my preparation for this exhibition, I encountered philosophical and scientific ideas about our perception of time which challenged me to rethink some commonly held assumptions, specifically, that time can be logically divided into the Past, Present and Future."

One model of time, that intrigued Elio, was the 'Block Universe Theory,' which holds that the Past, Present and Future co-exist as a single fixed indivisible Space-Time unit in an eternal Universe. This 'Time theory,' combined with other ideas about the nature of perception, came together in Elio's mind to form the basis of a visual language that he could adopt to help express his ideas about the process of perception embedded in time.

To create the images in this Exhibition, Elio had to develop a vastly different way of seeing and thinking about his experience of reality. Instead of conceiving of an image as a still frame (representing an instant in time as part of a longer narrative or sequence of still frames) Elio considered what a series of perceptions, thoughts and sensations would look like if they were not separated but instead organized sequentially in space and time as in a film reel. Elio imagined them stacked one on top of the other like pages in a closed book.

“The book metaphor enabled me to imagine our perceptions and experiences as recorded in flow on rectangular, transparent pages, each page metaphorically containing information and different thoughts and sensations that would disintegrate and disappear as other sensations and thoughts presented themselves. I imagined all these sensations and thoughts being bound to each other between two covers which represent the totality of all one's experiences in time and space.”

Given the excessive amount of perceptual information our minds take in at each moment, it became apparent to Elio that there had to be a way to create a hierarchy and separate out the density of this information, to make the essence of this information, intelligible and meaningful.

Elio began to imagine the totality of reality viewed from the outside, compressed in one dense structure that contained the past, present, and future in much the same way as a closed book on a table contains the totality of its contents between its covers. But how does one read and make full sense of a closed book without opening the covers and flicking through each page in time, taking in each word, sentence, paragraph, and chapter in sequential order? "There is a solution to this problem'', Elio explains, "if one takes the view of thinkers such as Henry Bergson who seem to consider Time is a fixed phenomenon that the mind or consciousness flows through filtering matter, organizing it into intelligible objects and sensations. It is this movement of Mind, not Time, that gives us an illusion of a reality existing in sequential time."

Using this lens to interpret reality, Elio considered that the two-dimensional canvas could be used as a screen onto which a collection of visual and emotional sensations could be overlaid. To avoid creating a crammed and indecipherable surface, certain visual elements had to be edited out and others emphasized and enlarged.

Elio's works show the separation of the picture plane into discrete sections and layers, with superimposed metaphorical page borders and transparencies. At the same time, Elio's use of straight edges and right-angled divisions, emphasises the notion that our perception of reality constitutes a simultaneous overlaying of sensational impressions, each one recorded on a different overlapping 'page' in our mind.

The inclusion and emphasis of the human form and elements of landscape in the compositional structure of the works, either by direct representation or by inference, was a way for Elio to communicate that our abstract notions of reality are an extension of the actual physicality and regenerative nature of our being. The female form being, for Elio, the aesthetic and symbolic means to convey the vitality of the Life-Force and consciousness permeating nature and all creation.

'Future Memories' in on show until Jan 2 , 2022 at Gallery Elysium, 440-444 Burwood Rd in Hawthorn, Victoria. An exhibition well worth seeing.

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