Bitumen & Dirt – Wayne Eager: 30 Years in the Territory

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Developed by Charles Darwin University Art Gallery

Opening Friday 26 March
Exhibition until Monday 14 June

Bitumen & Dirt – Wayne Eager: 30 Years in the Territory is a survey exhibition of paintings and prints by prominent Alice Springs-based artist Wayne Eager. Featuring 78 works from public and private collections around Australia, including the Charles Darwin University Art Collection and the Araluen Art Collection, the exhibition charts Eager’s career since he first arrived in the Northern Territory in 1990.

Early observations of the landscape have resulted in a large opus of figurative works in a gestural realist style, however Eager’s visual language changed in the mid-1990s, expressing the country in distinctly abstract ways and reengaging with an abstraction for which he had been renowned in Melbourne and as a founding member of the ROAR Studios group in the 1980s. He has honed his approach over the years to create unique and densely layered paintings of lines and dashes, that evoke the lacework of dirt tracks and bitumen roads linking remote Aboriginal communities and outstations with the steadfast ‘line’ of the Stuart Highway – uniting the Territory from north to south. Together, the works can be read as a ‘map’ marking the far reaches of the Territory and its various topographies and juxtapositions of green, wet, humid tropics and red, dry, arid desert.

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