© Stephen Eastaugh, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
A short residency has been completed at the Victorian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne. During the three weeks spent at the workshop a series of small mixed media works were created with the help of Kate Durham and others. This busy workshop has been translating images into Tapestries for 30 years and certainly has a well-established, comfortable and creative ambience throughout the building. The residency was finally capped off with a short work in progress exhibition called NON EXISTENT ISLANDS. The work attempted to navigate through some Antarctic themes, thoughts on dislocation and sloppy cartography.
Besides this project I have been preparing to leave Australia, finishing a number of large paintings, and enjoying the extremely warm Melbourne Spring. In fact so warm that it feels like a summer, all the signs of a serious drought are here reminding us that Australia is basically a very large desert island.
A long and tricky year is ahead of me. The year will be meshed together by airline tickets and a lot of art. A short return to Antarctica, solo exhibitions in three countries, setting up studios in half a dozen locations, and perhaps a bit of exploration will all keep me on the go. To begin the journey I jump on a plane just like over a billion people do each year. Zooming in and out of a bunch of airports, each time swimming through the strange process of being processed by people and machines that collect and read data. Displaying the passport at borders almost seems old fashioned. Presenting a small formal notebook with a great amount of ink stamps and my picture in it, which shows to the world my name, where and when I was born, where I have been and not much else. A great deal more information is wanted as the concept of Nationality becomes ever more fuzzy and people as always stay humanly fuzzy. By that I mean unusual, complicated, hilarious, insane, kind, desperate, lovesick, criminal, devout, drunk and the rest. I look forward to long haul travelling again and fears of terror (actual or imagined) bother me in a very minor way. Travel has and always will be a risk as is staying still.
I fly to Santiago Chile then drive over the Andes with Carolina. That means my next studio will be located in a small Asado BBQ room on the outskirts of La Consulta, which is near Mendoza in the wine production region of Argentina. I can’t imagine what I will be drinking there as I watch the grapes growing and hear the mountain winds blowing out the window.