© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.
Very much back in Argentina now. A pity that this country did not economically repair itself whilst I was away but I guess that was a BIG ask. Seems like the corruption and general mismanagement of this land is to continue. Comedians have described Argentina as a land of millions of people trying to sink the country without any luck! Another gag was roughly that the only reason Argentina survives is that the government officials cannot steal when they sleep. Sad really.
The mountain views are still grand and our life on this rustic vineyard is mostly tranquil but it is frustrating and at times a battle to do many things here. Never mind as things could be a lot worse. As I recover from a head-cold/sore throat mess I clean out and reinstall myself into my asador studio where I plan to dive into a new body of work on paper and a series of paintings that want to become physical but are currently floating about in my head. Film work also keeps me busy... some stills below...
The concept of displaced people is not a nice one. People forcibly moved away from their homeland or have fled to another country due to instability or horror of some form are to be found in there millions across the planet. To be displaced is certainly not desired. Displaced person, evacuee, refugee, (economic, environmental or political) all describe movement not chosen or desired but most necessary. I can barely grasp the upheaval and sorrow felt by people in such situations and I have no experience at all of such awful predicaments.
With this in mind I have been working on small paintings that hint at displacement in a purely visual manner. Displaced Landscapes wander about my personal self inflicted displacement. My variety of displacement is self imposed and very far from the concept of forced displacement. I do consciously use this word ‘displacement’ to acknowledge the growing global problem of people forced to move.
So here I am or sort of am, painting places that I have been to, places that don’t exit or places I shall go to as well as the place I am in all at once. Here but not here, somewhere but nowhere or everywhere and nowhere on a single painting.
Watching pretty hummingbirds suck the nectar from the cactus and succulent flowers has been a recent pastime. To see these tiny birds hover and fly backwards is incredible. I just wish I could do all those maneuver’s. I think there is a scene in the 1984 movie Under the volcano where Albert Finney plays a very alcoholic British diplomat in Mexico who watches a bird intensely under the influence of a great deal of booze. As if in a trance Finney sees the creature with a lucid kind of trippy focus. This inebriated character “drinks himself sober” which makes me consider the concept of drunken-clarity as I just love a good oxymoron and to ponder how clarity can be located after buckets of tequila is a great mystery to me. So I watch the hummingbirds here in La Consulta as I mix dry vermouth on ice and then a bit later it is time for a red wine or two.