10 February - 7 march 2015 The Hub Gallery Caboolture Regional Art Gallery
Cameron Eaton’s upcoming exhibition “I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway” responds to his expanding awareness of a simultaneous existence as both consumer and resource. Through the work he examines feelings of being in and of a comfortable western middle class suburban culture whilst also feeling somehow outside it. He employs materials and finishes that reflect the circumstances of a manufactured lifestyle; synthetic and glossy, imitative and unnatural. While the familiar motifs speak with a kind of reverse anthropomorphism, describing base human characteristics, they are presented as pieces that might typically be used to decorate one’s home, objet d’art, which is of course what they are.
Life is pretty comfortable. The renovation of the timber and tin suburban nest is complete enough to live in. The neighbours are nice, mortgage rates are low and the kids have settled in at the local school. Dance recitals, school fundraisers, tennis on Sundays, P & F meetings and Friday night drinks with the Dads.
But how much coal was burnt to power my new Blanco double oven with plate warmer, split system air-conditioning, flat screen TV, PC, Tablet and Integrated Home Management System? How many by –catch fish died for my kilo of fresh cooked Tiger Prawns? How old are the kids working in the factory that made my shoes, my shirt, my furniture or that concrete Buddha statue in my Balinese themed outdoor entertainment area? Do those kids have enough to eat, clothes to wear, a dry bed, school to go to or a doctor if they get sick? Do I even want to know?
But I’m locked into contracts with penalty exit payments; frightened into insurance premiums in case I get sick, die, lose my income or just plain stuff up; threatened with liquidated damages if I don’t finish on time; targeted by advertisers who’ve scanned my brain to see which parts light up when I watch their adds, click their links, email my friends or just log on; regulated by officials incentivised to ensure that I keep doing what I’m doing, spending what I’m spending and buying what I’m buying. Do I even have a choice? Is it reasonable to expect one? Would I want to change if I could?