© Stephen Eastaugh, 2018. All Rights Reserved.
People forcibly moved away from their homeland due to instability or wars are called “Displaced People” or DP. To be displaced is certainly not desired. Nor is it desired to be an IDP (Internally Displaced Person: one who does not cross an international border but is still fleeing from some horror.) DP and IDP (economic, environmental or political) describe movement not made by choice. I can barely grasp the upheaval and sorrow felt by the millions of folk labeled with these acronyms.
My variety of displacement is self-imposed. I could call myself a - Self Displaced Person- or SDP. I actively pursue displacement. Similar to expats chasing work, tourist on holidays or travellers exploring; all decide to be away from home. Willing to not understand all the language and to be unfamiliar with the landscape, the customs, habits and gestures of the society they place themselves in. Besides the obvious satisfactions there are also feelings of slight bewilderment and maybe melancholia as the SDP is not in familiar terrain but this is not homesickness or fear. The feeling is akin to minor fragility or slight tension due to an instinctual wariness. Surveying the scene is required in a different manner compared to when you are comfortably planted in your homeland where all is mostly automatic. In an alien environment you are surrounded by the new and the strange. It is much more difficult to predict what will happen so risk and excitement are sensed.
These Displaced Personal Landscapes or DPL’s were created with these thoughts in mind. Sites that look foreign or outlandish but also have a potential to be cozy. I have had plenty of practice being a SDP and I wanted to translate these remotely close feelings into landscapes. Due to my ongoing wanderlust I often confuse foreign with familiar and sometimes even the familiar with foreign so I try to embed this personal tussle into these miniature dis-places.
I explore landscapes from here but also not from here, from underwater, from outer space or perhaps from dreamland. Personal views and memories of everywhere and nowhere combined to make somewhere. Somewhere called art. Shapes, colors and textures that have not lived together are now neighbors in each framed space. These views are literally sewn and painted together to unearth tiny new pictorial terrains. Folk art stitching, gaudy colors, murky zones and the cute size of these DPL’s all try to fuse the far with near. (Mystery with reality) It just takes time for the foreign to become familiar. (Mystery to become reality) The reverse is trickier or how does one turn the domestic into the exotic? (Reality into the mystery) Art is one devise that can sometimes help us to see reality as the mystery that it really is.
Art functions in Melbourne and general busy business were on my agenda for all September. I moved artwork from one place to another, showed work in a few places, packed up work, sent work ahead of me, sold work and thought about making new work. That will not happen until I find some time and space in Bangkok. If anyone is in Thailand please do come to my drawing show and indulge in a Mekong with ice in steaming chaotic Bangkok. See you in the soup.
THAVIBU GALLERY - The Silom Galleria Building, 4th Fl. - Suite 433, 919/1 Silom Rd. - Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Dates:4 October– 16 October 2014.
Vernissage: Saturday 4 OCTOBER 2014 at 5 pm