Executed in the printmaking mediums of wood engraving and letterpress, Homesick by David Frazer embraces the tradition of the hand designed, printed and bound artist book that tells a poetic narrative through text and image. This story deals with emotions of loss and regret as seen from the perspective of a male protagonist, cast adrift a sea of confusion. Reflecting ideas derived from Australian ‘bloke’ culture, Frazer’s heartbroken character gets shitfaced to deal with his emotions, hugs solitary trees in the middle of the night, and laments for the sweet memory of love – all within a rural Australian setting.
Some works are profound in their evocation of existential angst, such as The Last Leaf on the Tree and Lost Man. While others such as Waiting for Mail and The Letter contain nostalgia for the days before people broke up via text messages and Facebook, as well as a palpable yearning for the idealised security of home. Happily, Frazer’s lovelorn Lothario reaches his pined for destination in Surrender and Home Sweet Home, but not before ploughing through the emotional turmoil of love gone wrong.
This impressive work, accompanied by individual prints from the book and other recent etchings, forms the current exhibition at Melbourne’s Firestation Print Studio & Gallery. Drawing from his own experience of growing up in a small Victorian country town and the feelings of forlorn isolation that can accompany it, Homesick is the latest chapter in Frazer’s ongoing project to depict life from the perspective of a ‘loser’ or ‘no-hoper’ looking in from the outskirts of a town. Frazer often employs a sense of familiarity and humour, along with a healthy dose of the absurd to diffuse the bleaker side of human experience which is the real fodder for his artwork. This book is no exception, and in showing off his innate talent as a story-teller Homesick shares a tale that is often painfully relatable. Lets just be thankful there’s a happy ending.
February 18th – March 2nd, 2013
Firestation Print Studio & Gallery