Describe your featured work.
Since the time of its creation The Nurture continued to magically evolve and take its place as an important “signature” artwork in my oeuvre. For one thing, it represents the “First Fruits” of my creativity after a relatively long period of creative dormancy that began in 2006 with the passing of my mother and continued through 2010 when the family house sold. During this time of banked fires, I did enjoy an incredibly fertile time researching and producing my manuscript: ART: Childhood. . . Mentoring. . .Calling. . . Awakening, including 100 footnotes and over 30 art images by the primitive expressionist painter Peter Dean (1934-1993), as well as my own work. The manuscript represents a homage to my mentor – an archaeological exercise that examines my childhood in light of a mid-1960’s New York City way of life, now long since vanished – as well as my own ripening sense of “Art Calling” and “Spiritual Awakening.” Other concurrent (theoretical/philosophical) parts to this manuscript continue to be written up to the present day. The Nurture – along with some subsequent artworks and a suite of 70 drawings – represents a whole new series, titled Tree of Souls, and a new, more streamlined / minimalist / reductionist approach to working versus the previous series, Aenigmate, which engaged a more maximal approach. These days, I find myself toggling between both series.
I am primarily interested in space – the charting of a deeply personal and resonant space as it relates to mysticism and memory. In the ever-changing realm of artistic creation, I am forever searching for a zone, an open space, a place of calm to call my own, an area open to imagination and revelation. I am likewise interested in following that indescribable “ambient sound” that ever calls to me and informs my life and work, the place where the creative tension of self-doubt and searching ultimately finds resolution in pervasive silence. In my work I seek to capture the fragile sparkling of the last interstices (here at the end of time) as I reach out in faith to the void, create, and then pull something of substance back into the here and now.
What are you making now?
I am currently living in a temporal limbo between the life in Pennsylvania that I recently left and the new life (locale) to which I am prayerfully heading. My productive seven-year run came to an abrupt halt when my new(er) landlords informed me that they had “other plans” for my apartment and downstairs studio space and asked me to move out. Thus, began a 2 1/2-month period of simultaneously downsizing, donating, gifting, selling, packing, moving, and placing my belongings in storage, while creating a personal relocation fundraising campaign. I am with friends in New Jersey while I raise funds. I have been busy conducting some fertile online research concerning a number of future projects. I can’t wait to land on my feet, get resituated, and recommence producing art in my studio!
Why do you belong to CIVA?
While attending college, I underwent a spiritual awakening that particularly hit me in the realm of art making. In 1979, a young Christian artist friend thoughtfully presented me information about CIVA. In June 1983 I felt prompted to attend my first CIVA conference at Calvin College. Needless to say, the experience changed my life, and I’ve been a CIVA member ever since! CIVA has provided needed support, dialogue, and encouragement, life-long friends, countless opportunities, and a beautifully rich alternative creative path!
Born and raised in the Inwood section of northern Manhattan, New York, Robert Eustace attributes his eventual calling to the arts to various central roots: playtime in the surrounding park system’s “primeval wilderness”; discovering mystery and wonder among the art, fragrances, and shadows found within a traditional Catholic Church; by extension, frequent visits to the Cloisters Museum, a complete monastic setting constructed with architectural shards gathered from across Europe; and lastly, being mentored by the primitive expressionist painter, Peter Dean (1934-1993). Eustace received a B.A. in Fine Art from Montclair State University in 1981 and an M.F.A. in Painting from the School Of Visual Art in 1987.