Mauro (P.E.) creates art for home
auro (P.E.) believes art is worth pain. “I go to bed with tears in my eyes because my hands hurt so much— that’s love.”
The Windsor-based artist has spent the last months preparing what he believes to be a tribute to both Canada’s history and Windsor’s community.
Coming in at a large 30 by 40 inches, the plaque tributes to General Isaac Brock and Tecumseh, two figures instrumental in the War of 1812, are equal parts imposing and beautiful. Inlaid gold represents the symbols most closely associated with both men.
“I wanted them to be able to resist the elements of Canada,” said Mauro. Similar pieces get damaged quickly when left outside. Mauro’s, on the other hand, have been made through a special process that will protect them from our vicious winters.
The Turtle and the Lion— the official title of the two tributes— were a labour of love for the artist who made them alone without any financial assistance. He was motivated by the desire to create an homage to a famous man many Canadians still don’t know about: Tecumseh.
“We have a blind spot of education; we don’t know about First Nations history.” Mauro admires the Shawnee leader who allied with the British during the War of 1812 for more than just his military skill. “Tecumseh wasn’t really a warrior, he was a great thinker,” he said, citing Tecumseh’s skill as a nation builder and politician.
Initially, Mauro had only planned on creating the Tecumseh tribute. However, he found it difficult to spark interest until he created the Brock tribute to go along with it. “I never thought of prejudice in art, but no one wanted to touch the Tecumseh tribute.”
Mauro is now on the hunt for a buyer for both pieces. He has, however, no plans to recoup his the profits for himself. He plans on funneling the money back into Windsor’s art scene. “This is an act of community.”
Creating the tributes has taken another toll on the artist. Mauro suffers from a number of different illnesses, all of which make it difficult for him to do the intensive work required by pieces like the Turtle and the Lion. He is currently training an apprentice to ensure that his particular methods will be passed on.
But his love of art and community drive him forward to his next pieces. “To speak the truth to people that want to know something about art,” said Mauro, “that is what gives me life.”