Bitumen & Dirt

Bitumen & Dirt – Wayne Eager: 30 Years in the Territory is a survey exhibition of paintings and prints by prominent Alice Springs based landscape artist Wayne Eager. Curated by Kellie Joswig, Charles Darwin University Art Gallery, the exhibition features 78 works from public and private collections around Australia, including 13 from Charles Darwin University Art Collection.

The exhibition focuses on the 30 years of Eager’s career since arriving 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 to become distinctly abstract. 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.

Bitumen & Dirt will be showing at Charles Darwin University Art Gallery from 22 October 2020 until 20 February 2021. The exhibition will then tour to Araluen Arts Centre and show from 19 March until 14 June 2021. Artback NT is supporting the tour of this important exhibition.

Featured website image: ‘Red Town’, 2018, oil on linen, 138 x 122.5 cm, courtesy Wayne Eager. Photograph: Joyce Van Dyke