© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Plants grow rapidly and richly all about us, nearby airplanes loudly take-off and loudly land, curlews and kookaburra make odd noises at dusk and the locals strum away on ukuleles. Midges annoyingly feast on Carolina’s skin and we busy ourselves with rainforest vegetation and art.
A F.N.Q TANKS cultural centre residency has planted us in a charming and rather large stilted house by a creek that has been known as a crocodile habitat as well as a hangout for other serpents both large and small. Carolina surprisingly discovered a two metre long python lounging on our veranda the other night. With a broom I suggested to the creature that he slither away back into the bush. The surrounding bush is dense and intriguing both wild in the swamplands as well as neatly ordered in the botanical gardens. I especially adore the massive bamboo groves and the infinite shades of green to be seen surrounding us. All considering Cairns seems like a pretty fine spot to be.
While here we attempt to eat as much seafood as we can to balance our meaty Argentinean diet. Crocodile baked in Mikeys pizza oven the other night was a very delicious seafood and I am not shy of cooking up in the wok a pile of locally caught “bugs.” (Thenus orientalis)
My exhibition here in Cairns consists of earlier paintings created elsewhere and two new pieces from Cairns. Aerial Root and the Mangal series. The new work is spawned from the sticky, muddy mangrove zones nearby and the thousands of swinging aerial roots dangling from great heights in the botanical gardens. Carolina also shows some older photographic work mixed with new Cairns images.
Hobart is “a different kettle of fish” as they say. A city I have known for many years on and off and one that I do like. At the Carnegie Gallery I presented An Awfully Beautiful Place. Curated by Fernando Do Campo this is a mixture of my Antarctic work from the past 9 trips over the past 10 years. After the hanging, a large opening, a few drinks, seeing old friends, a visit to the excellent MONA gallery and an artist talk it was time to see some Tassie wilderness.
On to Melbourne to my Weed Garden. This exhibition of work produced in Argentina forms my 19th solo show in my hometown of Melbourne. A big night was kicked off when Michael Wardell kindly opened this double function of art show and the launching of my travelogue book UNSTILL LIFE at Block Projects. (www.blockprojects.com)
I scuttled about the gallery trying to catch up with an array of people not seen for a while as I was simultaneously calculating, planning and praying to all the gods that I am able to get to Broome, Plymouth then to Beijing for a number of projects and back to Argentina by the start of this December. It can be done somehow I presume just not sure how at the moment......