© Stephen Eastaugh, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
I returned to Australia as summer kicked in and elections loomed. After many hours of travelling, lining up in far too many lines, being identified, photographed, searched and processed I felt like a floppy piece of cargo as I strolled out of Melbourne airport. The usual smells and sights reminded me that Australia is not a bad place at all even if the immigration laws are awful. It is a relaxed, cosmopolitan and spacious land with its fair share of negatives as well. The well-worn Melbourne to Sydney to Brisbane track I once again followed, finally showing a series of work called HUT FEVER at Bellas-Milani Gallery (www.bellasmilanigallery.com).
This East coast route also meant plenty of hi and bye drinks with plenty of family and plenty of friends in plenty of towns. My liver has indeed worked overtime and the peak of the festive season is yet to arrive. I did hole up in a half renovated Brisbane home to avoid socializing for a bit in November, stitching away on a large work that was born in Tokyo. A work that utilizes 'sashiko' stitched folk designs and a jellyfish. I have seen many types of jellyfish, been stung by small toxic tentacles and eaten many of these fascinating creatures over the years so I thought it was time to depict one.
The drought in Australia is over in some regions but continual need for water never ends. This is a global problem on a huge scale. I hope the brand new government implements long-term plans that address this problem as well implementing broad and fair policies across all issues. I see myself as a pessimist with a grin on my face so I can only hope.
I now have a base in Argentina. Maybe it's a home under the Andes in a small village called La Consulta. For me to stay still is an odd feeling as I believe that nothing is stable and everything changes so I find it slightly unreal or even misguided to pretend that things are stable. But I must admit; it is a comforting thought and one I should probably explore. Those that chase security and stability, reproduce, buy a house and collect possessions simply do what humans like and need to do. I acknowledge this as basically protection against chaos, change and the unknown. This is totally understandable behavior which I may even embrace one day.
I therefore head back to my Argentinean base where my Argentinean partner awaits me with a bottle of good Malbec. My asado studio needs to be reactivated as I have plenty of new paintings to create and I may even stay in one place longer that a few months for a change