The last month at Davis station saw me constructing a small sculpture garden overlooking the Bay. I planted three 'headhome' works to compliment a mysterious carved wooden pole already on site that sadly looked northward.
The final summer event was a 120 km helicopter trip over to the Chinese Zhong Shan station and the Russian Progress Two station. We flew over six gorgeous glaciers and were treated with steamed dumplings, vodka and plenty of hospitality. It was a brilliant Antarctic summer day with views of the shimmering sterile white void. I bowed with respect to the icecap's beauty or was I just nodding off due to the excellent vodka?
Early on Sunday morning I was plucked from Davis station and allocated a berth on the Aurora Australis as it was time to move. First stop was the spectacular Mawson station where we picked up the summerers and waved farewell to Antarctica via a man dressed as a yellow flower. Now it's the long voyage back to Australia. Onboard this icebreaker sleeping, eating, reading, watching videos, emergency muster drills, writing and drawing keep me busy. The Southern Ocean is looking large deep and dark, currently we are 3810 km away from Hobart and the sea is being rather pleasant.
As the last Iceberg floated out of view I knew that my most unusual and coldest summer had ended. It has been a productive, inspiring and special season in and around my cosy heli-pad studio but now I have many large paintings to complete, exhibitions to arrange, family and friends to see and a studio awaiting me in Sydney. If possible I would have stayed at Davis station for the southern winter. Obviously I did not get enough astonishing beauty, delirious blizzards, chilling silence nor outlandish views. I was very much intoxicated by this exotically frigid continent. Strong, abundant and addictive experiences I take away with me to translate into paintings.
Quality dislocation with lashings of alien beauty made Antarctica almost a home away from home. That is if I did have a home and wanted to indulge in a second one. This is highly unlikely as my travel bug once again moves me rapidly over the sea to everysomewherever. . .
More information regarding my time in Antarctica can be found on - www.abc.net.au/arts/visual.
© Stephen Eastaugh, 2018. All Rights Reserved.