STEPHEN EASTAUGH: PADDLE YOUR BOAT
08 November - 06 December 2014
Opened 08 November by Jeroen Junte (Design Critic)
Suzanne Biederberg Gallery is delighted to present a captivating selection of new work by Australian-born artist and continental drifter Stephen Eastaugh. In his latest series of mixed-media paintings Eastaugh turns his attention to ghost ships - abandoned, creaking vessels cast adrift at sea, devoid of life and yet imprinted with the spirits and memories of the sailors who once inhabited them. 'Over the austral summers of 2005 and 2007 I was fortunate to work as an artist-in-residence on the MV Lyubov Orlova,' says Eastaugh. 'On five separate voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula, the ship's Cabin 607 was my exciting, mobile, and often very wobbly studio.' In 2012, however, this 90m long, ice-strengthened ship was sold for salvage in the Dominican Republic. There, it was lost at sea, where it became a ghost ship, set adrift in international waters forever. Eastaugh's lo-fi explorations of the high seas are at once naïve and sophisticated - their exquisite textures, layers and hidden details invite the viewer to embark upon their own drifting journey of discovery. Texture has always played an important role in Eastaugh's work. This exhibition features paintings on canvas made with acrylic or metallic paint, sewn wool, cotton threads and wax, as well as works on paper which have been intentionally crumpled and stitched for extra texture. As he travels light, these primitive sewing techniques are based on his need to be able to sew on a button, fix torn pants or repair a tent with only needle and thread. Plunging deeper into the ocean and then coming up for air, the show also includes a selection of Eastaugh's earlier works - comprising imaginary ocean floors populated with warped fantasia; sweltering tropical zones; freezing polar landscapes; and savage wild bush. Like the topographic maps of the imagination, these painted and delicately sewn works are evocative dreamscapes of beauty, mystery and reverie. Always curious, never world-weary, Stephen Eastaugh is a well-travelled nomad who has been on the move for the past 30 years and lived in 154 different locations - from Australia to Argentina, to the North Pole and Antarctica. His work is highly sought after and can be found in many public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Nevada Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Parliament House, Canberra. This is his sixth solo exhibition with Suzanne Biederberg Gallery and is co-curated by Sally Van Es, arts writer. For interviews with the artist, images and press information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org / +31 20 6245455.