© Stephen Eastaugh, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
This month I find myself in a charming guest room underneath a house on stilts. I am in Brisbane for an exhibition at Bellas Gallery which opens on the 23rd September and runs until the 11th October. My three-month studio residency stint at the Gunnery/Artspace complex in Sydney ended a few weeks ago so northwards I have moved. As hoped I completed the large body of paintings I began some time ago in the Davis station studio. Now totally thawed out from that Antarctic summer it surely is time to frolic on a warm beach.
First I must prepare for this exhibition entitled TRAVAILOGUE which like all my exhibitions is in fact a distorted travelogue. The word travel is derived from travail meaning a bodily or mentally laborious effort. Travelogue of course is a monologue often accompanied by images of ones journey. Travailogue therefore plays with my travel addiction and acknowledges the unpleasant aspects of moving about the planet. As someone who has chosen a nomadic lifestyle I have met hundreds of uprooted people who have shown me the nasty elements of migration and dislocation.
Compared to the plight of refugees my travails are rather pathetic. Gluttony for kilometres and new experiences, a taste for anonymity, boredom with stability and a dis-taste for possessions fuel my travels. Wanderlust keeps me on tour not survival. In the animal world to stray from ones home terrain is suicide but in my world the risks and dangers of strange lands is assimilated into the paintings along with the positive experiences of my self inflicted dislocation.
The 200 small works to be exhibited have been made over the past two years while wandering about Australia, Asia and Antarctica. I have used bandage as a support for all these works. This fabric to me with its function of helping to repair the body hints at the travail of travel. Hopes of healing damage are also wrapt up in this material. Many people see art itself as a mild form of medicine.
This Travailogue theme will grow as it accompanies me on future travels so a Travailogue 2 exhibition is already being planned. I am not sure which location it will be shown but will definitely let you know when I get there.