Preparations now occur for an upcoming trip which will see me heading to Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany and USA. I have much to organise and I especially look forward to creating new work in both the village of Cill Railaig in remote south west Ireland (population - 8) and the excitable city of Los Angeles. USA (population 4,000,000)
Until I jump on some planes heading to the northern hemisphere I will enjoy Broome with its numerous dry season activities. From movies at the cute Sun Pictures (a local outdoor cinema build in 1913) to the markets, festivals and of course the beach.
One final event before we exit will be my small solo show at Short Street Gallery here in Broome.
FLAG WAIVING @ Short Street Gallery. Opening - THURSDAY 27TH JUNE 2019
I’ve always been fond of flags but never drawn to that nasty, nationalistic excitement often found fermenting and scurrying in circles beneath flagpoles. That “us vs them” attitude is dangerous and dated, so I try to avoid fluttering that topic.
My love-hate relationship with flags is deep. I have painted on many, adorned my walls with ornamental national flags and included flags in Antarctica paintings. I like flags as they are simple, graphic, colourful, abstract forms of communication. They are also universal symbols used to separate and bond. Due to my travel addiction I am also directly connected to flags as they often represent chunks of topography.
I have recently etched pearl shells with images of undersea flags from the Arctic Ocean, sewn mixed media works on the Indian Ocean that present the thirty-five FOC (Flags of Convenience) used by cargo vessels across the world (Fluffy Flags) and I have drawn a number of fictional red, white and blue flags (Unnational) on crumpled paper also created while at sea.
Now in this new body of work produced in Broome I continue my interest in Vexillology (the study of flags) A series of small oil paintings depicting views of rich landscapes where I plant torn, damaged and melting flags, each representing no place at all. Out of proportion, unstable and oddly placed makes these flags simply colour, shape and texture waving in miniature pictorial spaces.
Rather than waving I have used the word waiving in the title to present the idea that I totally refrain from waving any flag for nationalistic reason. The United Nations flag is a strong concept in progress and a good attempt but until the word and concept of Nations is removed the desire to be United globally will sadly not work.
I waive my right to be blinkered, fearful, brainwashed, stupefied and isolationist. I romantically and perhaps naively wave an all-encompassing flag that is yet to exist.
Flag Waiving 8. (detail)
Soon heading to this green part of the world …. Cill Rialaig. Ballinskelligs, Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland.
Broometime once again! I made crocodile burgers for dinner with cous cous as I listened to fruit bats flap about above us and we watched distant electrical storms fire up the night skies. One morning we watched small sting rays scoot about at Cable beach as we waded about in the shallow waters and another day we found ourselves floating in the sea with a baby shark swimming around us.
It is tropical studio time and I work away on a few different projects. The wet season basically failed to arrive for the 2018-2019 period so things are a bit dry in this part of the world. The tin shed was a sticky +40 C upon our arrival back here which made our brains melt on a number of days. We were hoping for some cooler temperatures but we had to wait. Speaking of cooler climates… one summer many moons ago I was in Antarctic at Davis Station with film maker Mathew Rooke. The documentary filmed down there at that time - ANTARCTICART (Everysomewherever) can now be found on vimeo. - https://vimeo.com/321039208
Stephen Eastaugh's journey down south to Davis Station. The people he meets, the art he makes and the landscape he inhabits. Antarctica through the eyes of one of Australia's preeminent artists.
Produced and Directed by Matthew Rooke.
Ahoy!! Further film news - A short documentary filmed at sea in 2018 which gives a glimpse of a self initiated maritime art residency has been selected for the 2019 St. Kilda Film Festival in Melbourne. UNANCHORED WORLD is set on a cargo container vessel crossing the Indian Ocean. On-board I make some art and contemplate the Mare Liberum as I travel from Perth, West Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malcolm McKinnons film will be screened on Sunday 23rd JUNE. 2:45 PM at the St Kilda Town Hall. For details -
© Stephen Eastaugh, 2019. All Rights Reserved.