© Stephen Eastaugh, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
I could have stayed in one place and discovered that the world is a harsh, beautiful and perplexing place but by travelling you can confirm without a doubt that these qualities are both abundant and universal. A larger view of the planet paradoxically shrinks the globe and situates everyone in the same boat paddling through the same waters. Admittedly sometimes the water is hot and wild other times its freezing and flat and other times it is something else.
I now work in a fresh aired and relaxing country environment on the outskirts of Melbourne. Large noisy cockatoos fly above searching for food and especially water. There is a drought on this continent so water becomes more and more scarce as it does across the entire planet. The night sky is clear and velvet-like and the big smoke of Melbourne is in reach for big city fun and galore. I have been catching up with a number of friends in Melbourne and this usually involves a lot of laughs and the loss of a few brain cells. Well worth it I believe.
Besides rekindling friendships and family events I also delve into a new body of work. A primitive form of embroidery that I laboriously stitch together embellishes the paintings on linen that I currently work on. These works will be shown in Brisbane later this year. I too will head north with my artwork to the warmer climes. Before this trip a small TRAVAILOGUE exhibition will be held in Melbourne. This will be the ninth show of this type of work done on the road, small scale, all painted and stitched on medical bandage. A kind of travelogue of images that trace part of the journey I undertook in 2004/05. Below was my primary routing over this period.
Melbourne --> Sydney --> Bangkok --> Taipei --> Hong Kong --> Bangkok --> Helsinki --> Murmansk --> Franz Josef Land --> North Pole --> Murmansk --> Helsinki --> Hong Kong --> Bangkok --> Phnom Penh --> Siem Reap --> Angkor Wat --> Bangkok --> Amman --> Dead Sea --> Petra --> Amman --> Amsterdam --> Berlin --> Amsterdam --> Madrid --> Buenos Aires --> Ushuaia --> South Shetland Islands --> Antarctic Peninsula --> Ushuaia --> Buenos Aires --> Mendoza --> Santiago --> Auckland --> Sydney --> Melbourne.
A garage has been commandeered as a country studio space and very functional it is proving to be. Each new work recalls various experiences and views collected during the past eighteen months. A Khmer haystack, a Russian arctic ghost town, a Jordanian gate made from a salvaged oil tanker, the tip of a short range ballistic missile from Taiwan, peaks and vales from Antarctica and other bits of oddness.
Collecting experiences on my travels and translating them into paintings is what keeps me busy. This rabid lust I have for more exotic observations is fodder for my artwork so after collecting the raw material it is then time for the tricky process of whittling down the ideas and images to construct art from this jumble of excitement. A venture that is pleasurable most of the time.